A report out today by Public Health England suggests that racism has contributed to risk of BAME communities dying from Covid-19
Thee report was not published alongside a first study, despite accusations that it was being withheld.
It found that historic racism may mean people are discriminated against when it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE) and may result in people from BAME backgrounds being less likely to seek care or demand better protection.
The report points to a raft of recommendations from stakeholders, including the need to develop “occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of employee’s exposure to and acquisition of Covid-19”.
The report added that The report added: “Ethnic inequalities in health and wellbeing in the UK existed before Covid-19 and the pandemic has made these disparities more apparent and undoubtedly exacerbated them.
“The unequal impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma.
Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:
‘There is clear evidence that COVID-19 is taking a greater toll on people in Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Today’s important report summarises this evidence, the reasons underpinning it, and the shock and dismay that is being felt in black and minority ethnic communities. COVID-19 is having a disproportionate and detrimental impact, and discrimination is a key factor.
‘We welcome Public Health England’s report and their recommendation of a properly funded strategy to tackle the wider circumstances in which people live – including education, job opportunities, working conditions and housing, which shape underlying health and vulnerability to COVID-19.
‘However, the report makes no specific recommendation on tackling entrenched discrimination and racism. Black and minority ethnic communities speak loudly in this report and say discrimination is among the fundamental causes of ill health. They should be listened to.
‘We have seen many commissions make recommendations on racial equality in the past. Now is the time for further concrete action, beginning with government.’