Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in London will have access to risk assessments after reports showing they have a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Monday.
The risk assessments — which will be open to those working across the Greater London Authority family, including Transport for London, The Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade — will consider the physical and mental health needs of all vulnerable staff, including BAME, older and those with pre-existing conditions, said City Hall in a statement.
“Far from being a great leveller, the coronavirus crisis has exposed the unacceptable major inequalities in our society,” Khan said.
“This pandemic must be a wake-up call to our country and we need the Government to show their commitment to tackling these great injustices and immediately commission an independent public inquiry that will properly address this issue,” he added.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white men and women, after taking into account age and socio-demographic factors.
City Hall published Monday a new research to further understand this disproportionate impact, comparing coronavirus cases in London to a range of measures including ethnicity, job security, poverty, deprivation, age and a range of health conditions.
The study from City Hall’s Intelligence Unit shows the highest COVID-19 death rate in London is an area of Newham, where 82 percent of the population are BAME, one in three is in insecure employment and there are high levels of deprivation, obesity and diabetes.