Covid-19: Disparate Impact - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:21 pm on 27th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bilimoria Lord Bilimoria Crossbench 6:21 pm, 27th October 2020

My Lords, men have a higher risk of death and account for just over 70% of Covid ICU admissions. People with obesity account for more than 30% of those in intensive care. When it comes to ethnic minorities, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair said:

“As we sit amid a second wave of infections, we know that about a third of those admitted to intensive care are not white—showing no change since the first peak.”

Some 15% of the population are from an ethnic minority, so this is double the proportion. Can the Minister explain the situation? Furthermore, the IPPR’s Dr Parth Patel, a research fellow, commenting on the government report said:

“The government should be acting to address the underlying structures behind ethnic disparities … Failure to act quickly will lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths during this second wave—this is about public health as much as it’s about racial justice.”

Does the Minister agree?