The Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom has emerged as being among the worst affected minority groups in the coronavirus pandemic, according to official data on the deaths in hospitals across England.
Figures released this week by the National Health Service (NHS) England show that of the 13,918 patients who died in hospitals till April 17 after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, 16.2 per cent were of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background, with the number of deaths under the category at 2,252, news agency PTI reported.
Those identifying with Indian ethnicity made up the largest chunk under the ethnicity breakdown of data, at around 3 per cent of the overall death toll, adding up to 420 deaths. This was followed by the Caribbeans at 2.9 per cent (407 death) and Pakistanis at 2.1 per cent (287 deaths).
The data, only a limited snapshot of the UK-wide Covid-19 fatalities, follows the Boris Johnson-led government’s announcement of a review into the death toll disparity among the BAME population.
“We have seen, both across the population as a whole but in those who work in the NHS, a much higher proportion who’ve died from minority backgrounds and that really worries me,” UK health secretary Matt Hancock was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The proportion of deaths among BAME groups is much higher compared to their roughly 13 per cent make-up of the total population.
The British government on Wednesday said that 759 more people with the coronavirus have died in the country’s hospitals, taking the total to 18,100. The daily spike reported was lower than the 823 in the previous 24-hour period. With 1,34,639 Covid-19 cases and 18,151 deaths, the country is one of the worst-affected countries in Europe.
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