THE coronavirus pandemic is shining a light on some of the 'consequences of a lack of action on race equality', says the chairman of a group which has studied the social and economic factors behind why Wales’ black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are more adversely affected by the disease.

A report to be published later today will reveal complex and long-standing factors that are contributing to the disproportionate impact coronavirus is having on Wales’ BAME communities.

It will make more than 30 recommendation to the Welsh Government to help address the social-economic and environmental risks it highlights. These include:

  • Communication of health information, and how effective it is;
  • Cultural issues relating to the suitability of health and social services for BAME communities;
  • Income and employment insecurity, which is experienced disproportionately by BAME communities;
  • Poor quality of ethnicity data, which is preventing accurate analysis;
  • Housing overcrowding and environment;
  • The financial burden created by migration status;
  • The role of structural and systemic racism and disadvantage.

The report is by the BAME Covid-19 expert advisory group, set up by First Minister Mark Drakeford to look at the reasons why people from BAME communities were more likely to be adversely affected by coronavirus.


One of its two sub-groups was tasked with examining the socio-economic factors, chaired by Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, professor of management and organization at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.

"There’s an overall theme running through our research for this report. It centres on long-standing racism and disadvantage, and the lack of BAME representation within decision-making processes," said Professor Ogbonna, who is also a trustee and vice-chair of Race Council Wales.

“The coronavirus pandemic is, in some respects, revealing the consequences of a lack of action on race equality.

“Many of the issues we’ve highlighted have been identified and discussed previously, but they haven’t been addressed in any systematic and sustained way.”

Analysis of Covid-19 related deaths across England and Wales by ethnicity showed that people from a black ethnic background are at a greater risk of death involving COVID-19 than all other ethnic groups.

The Office for National Statistics study showe that the risk for black males has been more than three times higher than white males, and nearly two-and-a-half times higher for black females than white.

Adjusting for socio-economic factors and geographical location partly explains the increased risk, but there remains twice the risk for black males and around one-and-a-half times for black females. Significant differences also remain for Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian men.