By Tatiana Zaituni
As talk of a second wave of coronavirus spreads, with many parts of the north being placed into the new tier 2 & tier 3 restrictions, figures show the demography of those most affected remains the same.
One of the earliest signs that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people were disproportionately dying from the virus was back in April.
According to the Guardian, statistics showed that 35% of almost 2000 Covid patients in intensive care in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland were non-white.
Yet, findings show that little has been done to decelerate the infection rate. The primary outcome being a government review.
Ministers are being urged to act now to protect the vulnerable.
A lot has happened since the initial inquiry which was published six months ago, including findings by the Office for National Statistics and the Public Health England (PHE) confirming the increased impact of the virus within the BAME communities. There was also a letter of recommendation with ways to reduce the infection rate.
However, as the preparation for the second wave becomes more apparent, the risks are still the same. Those who were most impacted the most remains a similar demographic.
So, what is being done to prevent similar consequences to what have witnessed since March?
The PHE and ONS inquiry report was published back in June, concluding a combination of factors to which the most significant was a social and economic condition, among other things.
Furthermore, a survey conducted by Runnymede Trust’s Dr Zubaida Haque, Laia Becares and Nick Treloar revealed that one-third of Black and ethnic minority groups (33%) are working outside of their home.
Statistics of those working outside their home include 41% of Black African groups and 36% of the Black Caribbean and Pakistani groups (compared to 27% of white groups), therefore increasing their exposure to Covid-19.
Another stark report in April by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) found that a third of coronavirus patients were Black or Asian, despite that they only make up 13% of the country’s population.
Areas with a significant population of people from the BAME group, such as West Yorkshire, need more attention, intensive management, and guidance.
Despite all the evidence linking the disparities impacting Black and Asian communities, there has been a lack of action. Many critics have condemned the government for their failure to tackle the pandemic among BAME communities.
The government has been cut some slack owing to the fact that they were dealing with the unknown; however, it is hard to continue down this line of argument nearly 9 months after the initial lockdown.
With an impending increase of the second wave, action needs to be tackled to make sure the second wave does not mimic the consequences of the first wave.