Once again Covid-19 is running along racial lines. Despite the inequalities exposed earlier this year, there has been little effort to stop Covid-19 hitting minority ethnic communities hardest as we enter the second wave. Without urgent action, the effects of pandemic are set to be felt unequally again. Already the latest national infection rates are over four times higher in Pakistani communities than white communities. Addressing these inequalities – and reducing the impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities – is an issue of racial justice.
This research is calling on the government to set out a comprehensive strategy to mitigate ethnic inequalities this winter. Runnymede’s research suggests this strategy should tackle two key inequalities:
Firstly, almost all minority ethnic groups are more likely to get Covid-19. The government must therefore put in place measures to better protect these communities and support people to isolate.
Secondly, the consequences and harms associated with Covid-19 for most minority ethnic groups, once they have caught it, are more severe (as we set out below). This means the government must ensure that minority ethnic groups have better access to treatment than they currently do.