Government must address how racial discrimination and economic disadvantage have disproportionately impacted ethnic minority communities Health Foundation response to the latest ONS data on ethnicity and COVID-19

26 May 2021

Responding to the Office for National Statistics data on the ethnic contrast in deaths involving COVID-19, Senior Research Fellow, Mehrunisha Suleman, said:

'There is no doubt that ethnic minority communities have been hit harder by the COVID-19 crisis and have faced higher risk of death. As part of our ongoing COVID-19 impact inquiry, we have gathered compelling evidence into how existing inequalities have worsened, with ethnic minority communities more likely to be working outside of the home, using public transport or living in overcrowded accommodation, increasing the risk of virus transmission.

'As we seek to recover from the pandemic, it is essential that the Government addresses the ways in which racial discrimination and economic disadvantage have disproportionately impacted these communities. While the speed of the vaccine roll-out is encouraging, we need to ensure all communities have confidence in and can easily access vaccines, particularly in the South Asian community where mortality was higher in the second wave. This will ensure that no groups are left behind.'

Additional information

One of our COVID-19 impact inquiry’s key aims is to create greater understanding of the role existing health and inequalities played in determining the impact of the pandemic. It provides a guide to priority areas of focus for policy to ensure the recovery improves health and reduces inequality.  

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