Corona Virus will hit BAME communities worse


As the stark reality of Corona-virus or Covid-19 really hits home any honest analysis would suggest that Black and minority ethnic communities here in the UK will be disproportionally hit by this global pandemic in a number of key areas.

First and most importantly health. The Government has stated that there will be certain groups who will be more vulnerable than most as the Corona virus spreads throughout the population. Those with underlying health problems such as diabetes, and respiratory problems and the elderly.

Therefore, when we look at type 2 diabetes for example we see that those from a South Asian background are 6 times more likely to have this type of diabetes, African and Caribbean’s three times more likely.

We also looked at the Race Disparity Units’ data on the ‘Health related quality of life for those people of 65 and older’. Again, certain Asian groups including Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Chinese and Indian communities score considerable worse that the average. So we see that on just two health indices many BAME groups are particularly vulnerable to this onslaught of the Corona disease.

But BAME groups are also likely to be badly hit financially, which in turn could also put them, their families and wider society at greater risk from the Corona Virus. Just the other week OBV along with Carnegie Trust and University College London launched a report that showed BAME millenials 16-25 where 47% more likely to be zero hour contracts. That means for every 100 white young people in the work space, there are 147 BAME. And often if you don’t work you don’t get paid. That could mean you go to work sick, when you should be resting because you’ve got to provide for your family, and you could be spreading the disease instead of self-isolating.

Organisations such as OBV are now urgently calling on the Government to look at the negative racial disparity that could affect BAME communities and act accordingly. For example, to support BAME community and faith groups that might be best placed to support their elderly citizens during this difficult time. And equally important for the Government to ensure those zero hour workers do not lose any money if they are not working due to Corona virus.

The Government keeps telling the nation that it’s acting upon the clear evidence to confront all aspects that come from the Corona Virus. Well there’s a racial aspect that cannot be ignored and must be understood and effectively dealt with.

Simon Woolley