People from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds have experienced greater risk of death involving Covid-19 during the Omicron wave of infections than all other ethnic groups, new analysis shows.

Mortality rates for Bangladeshi males in England have been 2.7 times higher than those for white British males, while Pakistani males have recorded rates 2.2 times higher.

Among Bangladeshi and Pakistani females, rates have been 1.9 times and 2.5 times higher respectively.

The findings are similar to patterns observed in the second and third waves of the pandemic, but not the first wave in the spring and summer of 2020, when rates of death involving coronavirus were highest among black African and Caribbean groups.

HEALTH Coronavirus Mortality
(PA Graphics)

All rates have been calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) based on deaths in England that occurred between January 10 and February 16 2022.

The ONS has defined this period as the fourth wave of Covid-19.

The analysis shows that rates of death involving Covid-19 have been higher for most ethnic minority groups compared with the white British group since Omicron became the main variant.

For males of black Caribbean and African background, the rates have been 1.6 and 1.3 times greater respectively, with lower figures for Indian (1.1) and mixed (1.0) groups.

Among females, mortality rates are higher for mixed (1.4), black Caribbean (1.3) and Indian (1.2) groups, but have been slightly lower for women of black African background, with deaths 0.9 times the equivalent figure for the white British group.

The low number of deaths so far in the fourth wave means it is “difficult to assess the statistical significant of comparisons between groups”, but “several main patterns” are similar to those observed earlier in the pandemic, the ONS said.

“In the future, analyses over longer time periods with more data should allow for more precise estimates,” it added.