Health experts urge UK to investigate whether minority groups are more vulnerable to coronavirus

Speculations surface after the first 10 doctors in UK to die of contagion identified as belonging to minority groups

Web Desk
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LONDON: The British Medical Association has urged the United Kingdom government to investigate whether members of minority communities are more vulnerable to the coronavirus after the first ten doctors who died from the virus in Britain were all identified as belonging to minority groups.

According to a report published by British publication The Guardian on Friday, the first ten doctors who lost their lives battling the virus in the UK had ancestry in regions including Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

“At face value, it seems hard to see how this can be random – to have the first 10 doctors to die of virus being of minority backgrounds,” said one of the doctors working in UK currently. "The minority population makes up about a third of those in intensive care for virus," the doctor noted.

“There’s a disproportionate percentage of minority groups getting ill from the virus,” the doctor lamented. “You’ve got a high proportion of minority people not able to stay at home, putting themselves at risk,” the doctor said.

“If you add that to overcrowded and multi generational occupancies, the infections can be brought back home and spread to other members of the family."

The overall death toll from the virus in UK has not been broken down by ethnicity, but a research published by the publication earlier this week shows that about 35% of almost 2000 patients in intensive care units are non-white.

The published news report also sheds light to the lesser known fact that most health professionals in key worker roles belong to minority origins.

The fact that minority doctors are not able to complain about inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) – a recurring complaint from the doctors during the crisis – has made them more vulnerable to fall a victim to the virus, the research claimed.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was working hard to protect all communities from the virus, adding that translations of the public information leaflet on the virus were posted to all 30 million households in the UK and are also available on their website.

According to The Guardian, there are over 70,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, with 8,958 deaths so far.