Covid-19 in BAME/BIPOC Communities

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

People from Black and Asian backgrounds are at substantially greater risk of contracting coronavirus than white people according to a new study that highlights the impacts of the disease on different groups in society.

The analysis has just been published in the Lancet. Researchers analysed 50 studies which involved the medical records of 19 million Covid patients. Black people are twice as likely to become infected and Asian people one and a half times more likely than white people. Both groups also more likely to be admitted to ITU and are at greater risk of death. This risk is thought to be driven by deprivation, living in larger multi generational households and having public facing jobs with the inability to work at home. Scientists have so far not found any evidence that the risk is due to genetic factors but I think this is because the research has yet to catch up. It is clear that these at risk groups will need to minimise exposure to the virus and seek timely access to healthcare. Researchers suggest that “ racism and structural discrimination may contribute to increased risk of worse clinical outcomes” With the future possibility of Corona virus vaccines Black and Asian people along with the elderly White will need to be prioritised.

UK-based researcher Dr Michelle King-Okoye has founded a global consortium of multidisciplinary researchers to understand and address factors underlying the severe impact of COVID-19 among ethnic minorities, focusing on qualitative research. The Ethnicity and COVID-19 Research Consortium (covid19ECRC) will has looked at the lived experiences of ethnic minorities with COVID-19 and barriers to care. They will be presenting their findings at an international mini conference on Covid-19 among BAME populations across developed countries.

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