Evidence of Covid-19’s ‘disproportionate impact’ on BAME Londoners must prompt new action on health inequalities, says London Councils


London Councils has warned that new research from the Office for National Statistics provides the latest evidence of Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on those from black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds.

The ONS study, published today, found the risk of a Covid-19-related death for males and females of black ethnicity was 1.9 times more likely than those of white ethnicity (after taking account of age and other socio-demographic characteristics and measures of self-reported health and disability). Similarly, males in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic group were 1.8 times more likely to have a Covid-19-related death than white males.

London Councils, the cross-party group representing the 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation, says the emerging data highlights the critical need to reduce health inequalities in the capital.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, London Councils’ Executive Member for Welfare, Empowerment and Inclusion, said: “We’re extremely concerned by the emerging evidence of Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on BAME Londoners.

“Every coronavirus death is a tragedy involving individual factors that are often complex. But the ONS research points to an unmistakable trend – and these appalling figures highlight London’s longstanding health inequalities.

“Boroughs are working hard to protect all vulnerable Londoners during this hugely challenging time. We’re engaging closely with local community, faith and voluntary sector leaders to ensure that the specific needs of BAME Londoners are met.

“While boroughs are determined to address these inequalities, we need to see national policy changes on a range of issues – including investment in public health, housing, and welfare – that are essential for building a healthier and fairer London. The Covid-19 pandemic is a clear prompt for a shift in approach.”