• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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ONS data reveals drop in Covid death rate for most ethnic groups

Volunteers re-paint hearts that have faded at the National Covid Memorial Wall on October 7, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE mortality rates for different ethnic communities continued to decline between January and November 2022, when Omicron was the dominant Covid variant, the new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data has revealed.

During the period, mortality rates decreased for males and females from the Bangladeshi, black Caribbean, Pakistani and Other ethnic groups, and females in the black African group compared with the Delta variant period.

However, the latest figures indicated a small increase in Covid mortality for white British males and females.

According to the ONS, Muslims, both males and females, which previously experienced among the highest rates of Covid mortality, saw notable decreases in mortality rates during the period.

Also, for the first time since the first Covid wave, Muslims did not have the highest rate of Covid mortality during the Omicron period.

Early in the pandemic, deaths involving coronavirus were higher among black and Asian people than white people. The highest risk was among Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean and Pakistani groups.

The latest data revealed that for all ethnic groups and for most religious groups, rates of Covid deaths were highest prior to 13 June 2021, when Delta became the dominant variant.

The ONS data said that over the whole pandemic period, Covid mortality rates for males were highest for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups. For females, Covid death rates were also highest for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups.

Responding to the latest figures, a spokesperson for the Runnymede told the BBC that Covid was not just a health crisis but a social and economic crisis.

“Unequal health outcomes are not confined to Covid-19, and longstanding racial and economic inequality is at the heart of understanding the pandemic. It is precisely because these inequalities are so systemic and interlinked that, when crisis hit, certain communities were impacted first, the hardest and in multiple ways,” the spokesperson is reported to have said.

“The virus had its greatest impact on people who were most vulnerable or exposed to the infection – that was older people and people working in frontline jobs, key workers in the NHS, public transport etc. And of course, ethnic minorities are disproportionately working in those roles,” Dr Veena Raleigh, an epidemiologist and senior fellow at The King’s Fund, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“Although vaccination rates are lower in some ethnic minority groups, nonetheless, a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated – or has some immunity because they’ve been exposed to the virus,” she added.

“All of these factors have contributed to reducing ethnic differences in Covid-19 mortality over time.”

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