Minorities’ Covid Risk Unlikely Due to Genetics, Report Says

The greater risk that Covid-19 poses to minorities is largely linked to factors like household composition and occupation, rather than genetics, according to a U.K. government report.

While most disparities in infection and mortality can be attributed to such socioeconomic and geographical points, the risk to Black men can’t be fully explained, according to the quarterly report on progress in addressing Covid-19 health inequalities.

The findings follow a June analysis by Public Health England that showed people from ethnic minority groups face a higher risk of dying if they develop a serious case of Covid-19. Similarly in the U.S., coronavirus-related hospitalizations for Black, Hispanic and Native American populations are about five times higher than for white patients, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

“The government should be acting to address the underlying structures behind ethnic disparities,” Parth Patel, a research fellow at think tank IPPR, said in a statement. “This means protecting minority ethnic communities so they’re less likely to catch Covid-19, and increasing access to treatment once they have it.”

Kemi Badenoch, the U.K. minister for equalities, is set to new measures for protecting those at risk, including 25 million pounds ($33 million) to communication strategies in the most at risk places and to work with grassroots advocates.

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