Ethnicity, race and Covid 19: inequality, discrimination, culture, nature?

King's College London

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Friday, Jan 15, 2021

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King's College London





Government & Politics

Race & Ethnicity

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed stark racial health inequalities. In many countries members from certain ethnic groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic . Emerging data shows that people of Black, Asian and minority ethnic *BAME) background are at much greater risk of death from COVID-19 in the UK. The risk of mortality in the black population, for instance, is over four times as high as that of the white population; in Bangladeshi and Pakistani people the risk is nearly twice as high as in the white population. In the US, the risk of death amongst Black Americans is almost three times that of white Americans. Similar patterns have also been reported in several other countries: e.g. Brazil,  France,  Canada,  Sweden and Norway.

The unequal impact of the pandemic on ethnic minority groups  extends  beyond infection and mortality rates. In the UK, researchers have voiced concerns that people of BAME background are likely to be worse affected by the lockdown, for example in terms of their mental health, and also by the economic recession to follow and projected job and income losses. Several countries have reported police use of racial profiling in the enforcement of lockdown measures, with ethnic minorities being disproportionately stopped and fined. Reports have also emerged of significant increases in racist speech and hate crimes directed against Asians, Jews, Muslims and people of African descent during the pandemic.

This session examines the various ways in which ethnicity and race influence the impact of pandemics.


King's College London