Poverty and Inequality

03.06.20

Public Health England report reveals Covid-19 disparity

Public Health England (PHE) published a report yesterday (June 2) confirming that the risk and outcomes of the Coronavirus pandemic is not felt equally across the country.

The disparity came to light through the PHE report, Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19, that analysed a number of factors including age and sex, location, deprivation, ethnicity, occupation and care home residents.

The burden of Covid-19 has echoed that of existing health inequalities and in some cases, increased them and PHE has claimed that the data found will help in ‘formulating the future public health response to it’.

Age transpired to be the factor with the largest disparity, as people aged 80 or over were 70 times more likely to die from the virus than those under 40.

It also found that your risk and outcomes are more severe if you are male, living in a more deprived area or in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups.

In response to the report, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, Dr Jennifer Dixon said:

“Today’s report confirms what we already knew – the burden of this pandemic is not being shouldered equally. Some groups are at much greater risk than others and those who have been at the sharp end of widening inequalities over the last decade, are being hit the hardest.”

“Beyond the immediate response to COVID-19, action is needed to ensure that existing health inequalities do not become further entrenched in the aftermath of the pandemic. This report does not address many of the underlying factors causing inequalities in health across different population groups. A further review announced today must consider these wider factors, such as educational and economic disadvantage and racial discrimination.

“The role of government to support the most vulnerable in society has been clearly shown up in this pandemic. To ensure that those who already face most disadvantage do not continue paying the highest price, the government needs to seize this moment to implement a national health inequalities strategy.”

LISTEN - Cllr Paula Langley, Deeds not Words 

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