Care workers twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than health staff

Care workers are twice as likely to die from coronavirus as healthcare workers, new data from the ONS has revealed.

The occupational analysis shows that 131 social care workers have died of coronavirus, up to April 20.  Of these 86 were women, and 45 men. Care workers and home carers have accounted for most of the deaths (98 out of 131 deaths, or 74.8 per cent).

Looking at death rates, according to the ONS, the social care deaths equate to a death rate, per 100,000, of 9.6 in women and 23.4 in men.  This compares to a death rate among healthcare workers of 4.8 in women and 10.2 in men. This group includes doctors, nurses and midwives, nurse assistants, paramedics and ambulance staff, and hospital porters.

 Separate data on potential exposure to the coronavirus suggests that care workers are exposed to the virus on a monthly basis.  

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Scottish Labour’s Health and Social Care spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP, has pressed for action to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic health and care workers from coronavirus.

NHS Trusts in England have been asked to carry out risk assessments on a precautionary basis, amid growing evidence that BAME staff may be at greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

Official statistics for England and Wales suggest that BAME individuals in the population are four times more likely to die from coronavirus.

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