WELSH Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds has responded to provisional analysis from the ONS showing that the risk of death involving the COVID-19 among some ethnic groups is significantly higher than that of those of white ethnicity,
“The disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on people from BAME groups is extremely alarming. This new data underlines existing trends we were already seeing, and highlights the need for us to get to grips with this issue now.
“I know that two weeks ago the Welsh Health Minister has already committed to working with Public Health Wales, and Public Health England, to review these cases and I welcomed that move. However, we’ve yet to see any results from that and this new data from the ONS clearly shows that underlying conditions are not to blame.
“It is vital that the Welsh Government understands how socio-economic inequalities could be contributing to increased vulnerability to COVID-19, so they can take steps to address them. They also need to be collating this data for those who have been tested for the virus, to build a clearer picture of its prevalence in real time.
“As we move towards the easing of lockdown restrictions, we need to do all we can to ensure it is done in a safe and controlled way – to prevent another deadly resurgence of the virus. Unless we have this data, I fear BAME communities could end up bearing the burden of any new outbreak.
“There should be no talk of lifting lockdown restrictions here in Wales until we can be sure it can be done without putting vulnerable people at risk. People’s lives depend on this, so we need to follow the science and the data, not simply copying whatever our English counterparts do.”