The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis; it is also a social and economic one, which in turn will also have a longer term impact on health.
This is from the July 2020 report (pdf) from Independent SAGE on why more people from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds appear to be at greater risk of hospitalisation and deaths with COVID-19 and the need for urgent action in order to address this.
This report makes a series of key recommendations to address the greater risk of adverse health outcomes in BME populations.
The report finds:
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Public Health England could provide guidance to all employers on how to carry out risk assessments on BME employees as well as all vulnerable groups and mitigation strategies to reduce exposure risk
- The government must recognise the impact of poverty and disadvantage on access to social and health care, and disease severity for people within BAME communities
- Temporary housing availability (e.g. hotels and community shelters) should be made available to facilitate self-isolation of symptomatic individuals.