Scottish Government must publish ethnicity data on COVID-19 victims

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today repeated calls for the Scottish Government to publish data on the ethnicity of COVID-19​ victims.

A Public Health England report into BAME deaths published on Tuesday concluded: "An analysis of survival among people with confirmed COVID-19 by sex, age group, ethnicity, deprivation and region shows that after taking these factors into account, some ethnic groups still had a higher risk of death than others".

The first 10 doctors in the UK named as having died from the virus were all BAME, which the BMA council chair describedat the timeas "extremely disturbing and worrying".

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“When we see the eulogies of heroic NHS workers who have died in the course of this crisis, it is impossible to escape the fact that so many of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty are of BAME ethnicity.

“Evidence from other parts of the UK suggests that BAME groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. It is important that here in Scotland we have a clear picture and understanding of the situation.

“Alongside the age and gender data that it already publishes, the Scottish Government should regularly publish its own ethnicity data. It is also time to look more closely at how the consequences of the pandemic are being exacerbated by existing societal inequalities”

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