South Asian people in East Lancashire nearly twice as likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19

South Asian people are nearly twice as likely to go into hospital with Covid-19, a new report has found.

Pathology testing data from the hospitals trust in east Lancashire revealed that South Asians are 1.95 times more likely to be hospitalised – with figures showing that for every 100,000 residents in the area, 262 were admitted to hospital, compared to 134 for every 100,000 white people.

Dominic Harrison, chairman of the Lancashire Resilience Forum’s BAME Covid-19 Health Inequalities Cell, a new group set up to research the reason why people from Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are dying more than their white counterparts, said: “These startling figures are in line with data at a national level which has shown BAME communities both across the country and in Lancashire disproportionately impacted by coronavirus.

"This is an extremely complex issue, but one of critical importance that must be addressed. Our group was established to examine the causes and determine what actions can be taken to support BAME and vulnerable communities."

South Asian people are nearly twice as likely to go into hospital with Covid-19, a new report has found. Pic credit: Danny Lawson/PA

The group is working to collate and analyse data from NHS trusts across Lancashire to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities and the measures that can be put in place to protect vulnerable people.

Abdul Razaq, public health consultant for Lancashire County Council and the co-chairman of the group, added: "It’s important that we analyse as much data as possible to build a broad understanding of the impact of Covid-19 across Lancashire.

"We have previously conducted research of national data which showed a higher level of coronavirus related deaths in minority communities as well as differences between different ethnic groups.

"As a group we’re continuing to examine data both locally and nationally to better understand the cause of these high figures and to push for change to support BAME, vulnerable communities and front line workers."

As well as researching data, the group is working to communicate with BAME and other communities to make sure national health messaging is reaching everyone.

Naz Zaman, the chief officer of the Lancashire BME Network, said: "This research shows the importance of communicating national health messages at a community level.

"We’re working hard behind the scenes to find new and innovative ways to reach everybody in society to remind them of the messages from the NHS that can help save lives.

"We’re also keen to target specific professions that have been identified as higher risk such as taxi drivers, security guards and care staff to help them stay safe."