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BAME groups hit hard again as Covid second wave grips UK nations

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One of the earliest signs that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people were being disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus pandemic came when the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNAR) published research in early April showing that 35% of almost 2,000 Covid patients in intensive care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were non-white.

A lot has happened in the intervening six months with numerous reports, including by the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England (PHE), confirming the increased risk to ethnic minorities and recommendations published on how to mitigate that risk. However, as the second wave intensifies, the demographics of those most seriously affected remain remarkably similar.

ICNARC figures show that the non-white proportion of the 10,877 Covid patients admitted to intensive care up to 31 August was 33.9% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This rises to 38.3% of patients admitted since 1 September, albeit of a much smaller cohort (527 intensive care admissions).

The government mantra “we’re all in this together” proved to be little more than an empty rallying cry early in the pandemic and the ICNARC figures show it remains the case that people in the most deprived socioeconomic groups make up a greater proportion of patients in critical care.

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Source: The Guardian, 9 October 2020

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