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The BIG Breakfast Show

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Black people at almost twice the risk of dying from COVID-19, report warns

Written by on 1 October 2020

Black people are at almost twice the risk of dying from COVID-19 than white people, according to a new study commissioned by London’s mayor.

Sadiq Khan is urging the government to tackle the inequalities which have led to Londoners experiencing a disproportionate impact of coronavirus after the independent report highlighted the uneven effect in relation to factors such as ethnicity and gender.

It comes as cases continue to surge in the capital, with a spokesperson for Mr Khan warning last week London was at a “very worrying tipping point” and “immediate action” was needed to regain control of the spread.

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Sadiq Khan wants more investment in organisations supporting those most at risk

Mr Khan said the report proved COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on “disabled Londoners, people in areas of high deprivation and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds”.

“It is simply not right for ministers to say they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis but then stand by as whole sectors of our society find their lives and their livelihoods at risk,” he said.

“I urge ministers to invest in our communities and the organisations supporting those most at risk, to ensure that accessible health guidance is available to all and, as case numbers are rising again, that there is adequate support in place for those who’ve lost their jobs, had their hours cut or been forced to self-isolate.”

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Sky News report: COVID-19 deaths higher among BAME people

The report was conducted by researchers from the University of Manchester and analysed data from local and national sources to assess the impact of the pandemic on people with characteristics protected by law.

More from Covid-19

It found black people were 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, with the disparity partly due to long-standing socio-economic inequalities as well as the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in careers such as health and social care – professions more susceptible to exposure to the virus.

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‘A whole package of measures’ for London

It also discovered men were more likely to die from COVID-19, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, but that women had experienced disproportionate economic, social and psychological impacts, with mothers 47% more likely to have lost or resigned from their jobs than fathers.

Among the report’s other revelations was that death rates for men in lower-paid, manual roles were three times higher than those in management, business and desk-based jobs.