UK death tally increases by 324 as disproportionate impact on minorities is revealed

People shopping at Leicester market which re-opened on 01 June 2020 after being closed for 9 weeks because of the COVID-19 lockdown, Leicester, UK, 01 June 2020. Leicester Market is over 700 years old and is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe with over 270 stalls. Countries around the world are gradually easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in an effort to restart their economy and help people go back to their daily routines after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. EPA-EFE/TIM KEETON

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The United Kingdom’s death toll from people who tested positive for COVID-19 has risen by 324 to 39,369, the government said on Tuesday.

1,613 new cases took the country’s case tally to 277,985.

A separate tally of deaths using official data sourced from each of the United Kingdom’s four countries, drawn mostly from death certificate data and including suspected cases, showed a total of nearly 50,000 earlier on Tuesday.

Today’s daily press briefing was dominated by a report published earlier by Public Health ENgland, which showed that ethnic minorities were at greater risk from the virus.  Britain has more work to do to understand why COVID-19 has a disproportionate effect on black and minority ethnic minorities, health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.

The report by PHE showed that England’s black and Asian people are up to 50% more likely to die after becoming infected with COVID-19, putting pressure on the government to outline plans to protect the most at-risk communities.

While the report by PHE reinforced previous studies which indicated ethnic minority groups were more at risk from the virus, it was not accompanied by specific government advice for those people.

Hancock said that equalities minister Kemi Badenoch would look at the issue further.

Reuters / BBC

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