A report has indicated that COVID-19 patients from BAME backgrounds are more vulnerable to coronavirus.
The report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that 34% of coronavirus patients in critical care were from black or minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME).
Census data from 2011 indicated that Ethnic minorities made up 13% of the population, this appears to show that BAME patients are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 patients.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that current data suggests that “black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19”.
Prof Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester, said:
“Data from UK and US has recently shown that Black Minority Ethnic Groups are more likely to have a severe disease form of COVID-19 requiring admission to intensive care unit.”
Experts and charitable organisations have acknowledged that BAME communities may be disproportionately impacted for a variety of factors such as dense populations and higher risk factors for several medical conditions.
Ahmed Afzal who lives in Birmingham said that cultural reasons could be a possible factor.
He said; “As Muslims, we tend to live as extended families” and a lot of us go to work so “we have a greater risk of catching the virus” and bringing it back home.
Government statistics show that 30% of Bangladeshi households and 15% of black households were classified as overcrowded compared to 2% of white British households.
Ahmed was keen to learn if the higher risk factory was due to large numbers of NHS workers being of an ethnic minority or if diet and immune response played a part.
Prof Khunti said: “There may also be socio-economic reasons in view of BAME populations living in more deprived areas and also cultural reasons including BAME populations living with extended families which may make it difficult to socially distance and self isolate.”
NHS England has advised trusts to ‘risk assess’ frontline BAME workers
Another 1.5 Million File For Unemployment As States Continue To Reopen Economies, Totaling 44 Million People Unemployed
(NPR) — The pain in the job market continues as an additional 1.5 million sought jobless benefits for the first time last week, down 355,000 from the prior week. Continued claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million, a sign that more people are returning to work as the economy reopens after pandemic lockdowns.
More than 44 million first-time claims have been filed in the past 12 weeks.
The Federal Reserve is projecting that the unemployment rate will be more than 9% by year end, falling to 6.5% by the end of 2021.
That’s down from last month’s lower-than-expected 13.3% rate but up sharply from a nearly 50-year low of 3.5% earlier this year before the coronavirus crisis shut down much of the economy. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, but they slashed 20.7 million just a month earlier.
“The May employment report, of course, was a welcome surprise,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. “We hope we get many more like it. But I think we have to be honest. It’s a long road.”
5G Misinfomation: “I’m unsure what to believe”
Misinformation linking 5G to COVID-19 has been spreading online for months leading many to believe such claims.
Despite COVID-19 being a novel Coronavirus that affects the respiratory system, online conspiracy theories have falsely claimed that symptoms are caused by radiation emitted by 5G communication masts.
What is 5G ?
5G is the next generation of mobile network technology that is being rolled out across the UK, it will provide a faster and smoother internet connection for mobile users.
5G Masts emit minute amounts of radiation which are less than visible light itself.
The spread of misinformation has led to vandalism of mobile masts, arson and widespread speculation on social media.
Dozens of telephone masts were set ablaze over Easter Weekend leading mobile networks to issue a joint letter asking the public to help it stop
our networks are relied upon by the NHS, critical services and you. please take the time to read this 👇and help us protect the UK’s critical infrastructure alongside @O2 @EE & @VodafoneUK pic.twitter.com/s5mgXVHFZJ
— Three UK (@ThreeUK) April 5, 2020
Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, said that “damaging phone masts is like knocking holes in your lifeboats while your ship sinks.
Several of the masts vandalised had been providing critical infrastructure to the temporary NHS Nightingale hospitals.
In the first week of the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, Ofcom carried out an online survey of 2,000 people.
Nearly half of respondents said they had come across false or misleading information about COVID19 that week.
I spoke with a support worker in Birmingham who has nightmares about COVID-19.
Speaking about the misinformation, she said;
“I heard about Coronavirus possibly being caused by 5G masts on a podcast, I’m unsure what to believe whether it’s on social media or from the government”
The essential worker said that she was “shocked and scared” to hear such claims.
Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said:
“The idea that COVID19 is caused by 5G mobile phone signals is complete rubbish.”
“Electromagnetic waves are one thing, viruses are another, and you can’t get a virus off a phone mast. Similarly, sensible studies have failed to corroborate the claim that the signals emitted by 5G masts are able to suppress our immune systems.”
Labour Leader Starmer says no worker should risk their life because they haven’t got the right PPE
At 11 am today, a minute’s silence will be held to remember those that have died during the coronavirus outbreak.
A campaign for the national silence was launched last week by the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing which represent more than a million NHS and public service workers.
In a video message released this morning on International Worker’s memorial day, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that as the nation observed a minute’s silence for those that have died, “we must continue to fight for those on the frontline to protect their lives”.
Starmer said that “Nobody should put their lives at risk because they haven’t got the right protective equipment” adding “We owe it to them to make sure they’ve got the right equipment, in the right place, at the right time and we will continue to press on that”.
Last week, a survey by The Royal College of Physicians of 2,129 hospital doctors, found that 26.5% of medics reported being unable to access the protective equipment they need for managing COVID patients.
Today the Trades Union Congress (TUC) , an umbrella group for unions in the UK called upon the government to do more to protect those on the frontline.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said Britain will “forever be in debt” to the workers who have died during this pandemic.
O’Grady criticised ministers for the handling of the crisis and demanded an enquiry, she said;
“The lack of protective equipment for frontline workers during this crisis is a grotesque failure by ministers. We demand a public inquiry into why government allowed workers to keep working without the right equipment to keep them safe”.
Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that families of NHS workers and social carers who die from coronavirus would receive a £60,000 payment.
Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP welcomed the announcement and said;
“It is welcome that the Government has listened to workforce representatives and ensured that death in service benefits are available to everyone working in the NHS and social care sector.”
He added “..the Government must finally get a grip over PPE supplies so that NHS and care staff aren’t putting their lives on the line to do their job and protect the rest of us.”
82 NHS staff are known to have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
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