Covid-19 death rates are much higher in BAME people and manual workers, research by the University of Manchester has shown.
Experts from the university co-authored a report into the virus which found that black people and men of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage are almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as white people.
The report also showed that mortality rates from the virus were three times higher for men in lower-paid manual roles than those in management, business and desk-based jobs.
James Nazroo, University of Manchester Professor said: “This report clearly documents the wide-ranging inequalities that exist in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
“These inequalities reflect, and amplify, pre-existing inequalities in social, economic and health conditions.”
The research aimed to assess the impact of the pandemic across different ethnicities, socioeconomic positions, genders and other factors such as homelessness and being in prison.
The disparity in death rates caused by the virus was shown to be partly due to longstanding socio-economic inequalities and increased likelihood of underlying health conditions.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who commissioned the report, said: “I urge ministers to invest in our communities and the organisations supporting those most at risk.
“It is simply not right for ministers to say they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis, but then stand by as whole sectors of our society find their lives and their livelihoods at risk.”
Evidence suggests greater exposure to pollution, poor housing and less green space contribute to increased stress levels which cause biological damage leading to these health conditions.
Overrepresentation of BAME people in careers such as health and social care, which would increase exposure to the virus, was said to attribute to these disproportionate figures.
The inability to work from home and difficulties socially distancing while working was shown to put workers in manual jobs at greater risk.
Mothers were shown to be 47% more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs or resigned, and 14% more likely to have been furloughed.
Disabled people reported increased difficulties performing tasks such as shopping, and experienced difficulty with accessing up-to-date health information.
Additionally, 79% of LGBTQ+ people reported feeling unsafe during lockdown in their current housing conditions.
Professor Nazroo said: “It is crucial that policy responses to the pandemic are developed to address these inequalities.”
He expressed that this must be done in partnership with the groups experiencing the disproportionate effects of the virus.
Recommendations from the report have been made to target these inequalities caused by the pandemic.