A government study has found coronavirus is having an unequal impact on parts of the community. It reported that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have a higher risk of serious illness and death.
Among the factors thought to be contributing to the unequal impact on BAME communities are: Higher rates of pre-existing serious health conditions; the jobs people do, such as being key workers in frontline roles; and, also, poverty.
The key public health advice to minimise the risk from COVID-19 is to stay at home as much as possible; avoid close contact if living with relatives who are shielding; keep a two-metre distance from others where possible when out (and at least one metre); and wash your hands regularly. Avoiding public transport is also advised, if possible, but wearing a face covering is mandatory if you do use it. Preferably, also wear a face covering in shops or other enclosed spaces.
UNEQUAL IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS OTHER INEQUALITIES
Councillor Joanna Camadoo-Rothwell, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for community safety and inclusion, said: “Every death is a tragedy and I offer my deepest sympathy to anyone who has lost a loved one. Although it has been said that coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, this crisis is highlighting the longstanding inequalities faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic people.
“The council is working hard to protect the vulnerable, including working very closely with local community, faith and voluntary sector leaders to ensure that our BAME communities are well informed and supported during this pandemic.
“However, we desperately need to see national policy changes from government on a range of issues – including investment in public health, housing, employment and welfare – that are essential for building a healthier and fairer borough for everyone.”
Across all ethnic groups, older people are at greatest risk from this disease.
The council has been working with other organisations to provide help and support to vulnerable and shielded people through the Ealing Together initiative.
The council is urging all residents to take care to protect themselves and their families – particularly if they fall into one of the ‘at risk’ categories:
- Over 70s – all ethnicities
- Shielded people – including those with serious underlying health conditions
- People of African, Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian origin
- Men – risk level depends on age, health and ethnicity
- Pregnant women
Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “Thank you to everyone who has stayed at home and saved lives. This lockdown is not fully over. It is essential everyone follows the public health advice to avoid a second wave of this virus. Please do everything you can to protect yourself and others from this terrible virus.”
Visit www.ealing.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest advice and guidelines