Socioeconomic factors are responsible for making minorities vulnerable to pandemic: Report
LONDON (UK) – Factors such as living conditions and profession enhance the risk posed by the coronavirus to those belonging to ethnic minorities rather than genetics or structural racism, said a report that examines the racial disparities from the pandemic.
Studies have revealed a disproportionate impact of the pandemic on ethnic minorities and the government had pledged in June to examine the causes of disparities.
It still remains unclear whether certain racial minority groups are more susceptible to the virus due to external factors or are more vulnerable once exposed.
The first quarterly report detailing the health disparities of the pandemic found that South Asians and Blacks were at increased risk, adding that profession, deprivation and living conditions were responsible for the increased risk factor rather than genes.
“The early work that I’ve seen doesn’t suggest there’s any genetic explanation for this,” Dr Raghib Ali, a government adviser on COVID and ethnicity, said.
He said public health measures should be targeted along more specific socioeconomic lines moving forward.
“Now we have more information as to what explains the increased risk … there’s no reason why a white bus driver should be treated differently from an Asian bus driver or a white doctor should be treated differently from an Asian doctor,” he said.
Although the report explains the socioeconomic and geographical factors which place certain ethnic groups in the vulnerable category, it does not fully epxlain why some groups such as Black men are more vulnerable.