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UK study suggests that BAME groups are hit harder than white people by Covid-19

Research shows that Covid-19 has a much more negative impact on non-white critically ill patients than it does on the white population.

Investigation into the first critically ill patients in the UK with Covid-19 show that black and Asian patients are likely to be more affected by the virus than white people would be.

A study by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (INARC) showed that of almost 2,000 patients 35% were non-white. This is almost three times the 13% white/non-white population in the UK.

In the most serious cases of the virus, 14% were Asian and the same number were black. This information has prompted calls for additional research in order to understand why the virus is found in higher proportions in the black and ethnic groups.

In the ethnic breakdown of the virus cases, this is the first study of its kind in the world to be made public. The number of confirmed deaths from the Coronavirus in the UK stands at over 10,000 with people who have passed away at home, hospices and care homes yet to be considered.

The study also looked at admissions to 286 critical care units spread across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The study showed that the average age of patients in critical condition is 61 and over 75% of these were men.

The survival rate for patients in intensive care between 16 and 49 years of age is the highest, with 76% likely to recover. Patients between 50 and 69 have a recovery rate of 50%, while those over the age of 70 have a recovery rate of just 32%.

Professor in primary care diabetes and vascular medicine Kamlesh Khunti said that the results needed to be studied in greater depth. Professor Khunti studies health trends in black and minority groups at the University of Leicester.

Professor Khunti stated that South Asians in the UK live in more deprived areas. They also have more cases of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Because South Asian people generally live in multi-generational households, they may not be able to socially isolate as much as other people.

A spokesperson for the government stated that cramped housing is a far bigger problem in ethnic minorities. 30% of the Bangladeshi population in the UK live in overcrowded housing conditions. This is compared to 2% of the white population who are in overcrowded accommodation. 15% of black African people and 16% of Pakistanis in the UK live in overcrowded conditions.

Professor Khunti concluded by saying that the government needed to ensure that every person, including the BAME population, follows the social distancing guidelines. The study shows that this is simply not happening in certain BAME groups.

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