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Coronavirus: Ethnic Groups

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL8165, tabled on 15 September 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the research by Shields et al, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and asymptomatic viral carriage in healthcare workers: a cross-sectional study, published on 11 September, which found that BAME ethnicity confers a significantly increased likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

Answered on

29 October 2020

Whilst there has not been a specific assessment of this research, we keep all evidence under review and welcome new quality evidence. The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research has prioritised research on the links between COVID-19 and ethnicity, funding six projects with UK Research and Innovation. These projects seek to explain and mitigate the disproportionate death rate from COVID-19 among people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, including health and care workers.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have put in place a comprehensive programme to address the impact of COVID-19 on BAME National Health Service staff including work to prioritise risk assessments, strengthened engagement with staff networks in decision making, and tailored support as part of their health and wellbeing offer