Covid-19 is still worsening health inequality. Why hasn’t anything been done? | Gurch Randhawa

Infection rates are creeping up again in the UK, but six months of failures have left little protection for the most vulnerable

  • Gurch Randhawa is professor of diversity in public health at the University of Bedfordshire

The first wave of Covid-19 threw the UK’s existing health inequalities into stark relief. Black people were most likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, and people from a Bangladeshi background were twice as likely to die from the virus compared with white British people. The Public Health England (PHE) review has only confirmed what we all knew anecdotally: Covid-19 hit the black and minority ethnic (BAME) population very hard, both in the community and among healthcare staff.

Now infection rates are creeping up again, and weekly data shows ethnic minority communities are once again being disproportionately affected by the virus. And yet nothing appears to have been done to reinforce their protection: there is silence from the government as to how and when it will implement PHE’s review recommendations.

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