Covid-19: Indians in UK most dead among non-whites
NHS England figures show that 763 patients categorised as ‘Indian’ died as of June 25, followed by patients of ‘Caribbean’ heritage (636) and of ‘Pakistani’ origin (479). The ‘Indian’ category accounts for 3 per cent among the non-white patients who succumbed to the virus.Updated: Jun 27, 2020 19:16 IST
Coronavirus patients of Indian origin top the list of patients who have succumbed to the virus among the non-white population in England, according to latest figures released by the National Health Service, as the UK prepares to ease lockdown further from July 4.
NHS England figures show that 763 patients categorised as ‘Indian’ died as of June 25, followed by patients of ‘Caribbean’ heritage (636) and of ‘Pakistani’ origin (479). The ‘Indian’ category accounts for 3 per cent among the non-white patients who died due to contracting the virus.
Together, the non-white patients categorised as BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) accounted for 3,794 deaths. Several reviews have concluded that the virus has affected the BAME communities ‘disproportionately’.
Besides higher incidence of diseases such as diabetes among BAME communities, the reviews highlight the fact that individuals from such communities make up a large share of jobs considered essential in tackling the virus, many of which are public-facing. Several doctors and nurses of Indian heritage working in the NHS are among the dead.
A report by Public Health England said: “Historic racism and poorer experiences of healthcare or at work may mean that individuals in BAME groups are less likely to seek care when needed or as NHS staff are less likely to speak up when they have concerns about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or risk.”
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have showed that there is a “significantly higher” risk of death from the virus among Indian and other non-white communities than the white community.
The ONS said Indian and other non-white males are 4.2 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death and non-white females are 4.3 times more likely than white ethnicity males and females. The UK’s Indian-origin population is estimated to number 1.5 million.
The ONS said: “People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and Mixed ethnicities also had statistically significant raised risk of death involving Covid-19 compared with those of White ethnicity”.
According to Kamlesh Khunti, medical expert at the University of Leicester, the reasons Indian and other non-white people figure more in the statistics, despite accounting for only 14 per cent of the UK population, include many coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, working in public-facing occupations, holding different cultural beliefs and behaviours or being at high risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.