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Black people are ‘four times more likely to die’ from COVID-19 than white people and other stories

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Black people are ‘four times more likely to die’ from COVID-19 than white people

A new report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that some ethnic groups have a ‘significantly higher’ risk of dying from coronavirus than people of white backgrounds. 

ONS says the study shows that Black men are 4.2 times more likely to die than their white counterparts, while Black women are 4.3 times more likely, after accounting for age. 

People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, and mixed ethnicities also have a higher risk of death. 

Häggström, M (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). doi:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 2002-4436. Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Used with permission.

The ONS said that the difference is partly because of ‘socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained.’

After taking into account pre-existing factors of wealth, health, education and other characteristics, Black people were still nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white people.

Bank of England warns the UK economy could face deepest recession on record

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The Bank of England warned that the pandemic could cause unemployment to more than double and the UK economy may shrink by 14% this year as a whole — the deepest recession on record.

The Bank’s scenario shows the economy shrinking by 3% in the first three months and further dropping by 25% in the second quarter of 2020.

But the Bank expects this will be temporary and the economy will slowly get back to pre-virus growth rates as social distancing measures are phased out.

Shipment of 400,000 protective gowns from Turkey fails safety standards

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The UK government has confirmed that 400,000 surgical gowns from Turkey were unusable because they did not meet British safety requirements.

The delayed personal protective equipment (PPE) order was flown into the UK last month and has been held in a warehouse after being deemed useless for medical purposes.

It’s unclear whether the government will be able to get its money back.

Over the past few months as healthcare workers have tackled the pandemic, it’s been known that there’s been a lack of adequate PPE to protect frontline workers. 

Virgin Media and O2 confirm mega-merger

O2 and Virgin Media will merge to create a £31 billion company to become one of the largest media and telecom firms in the UK. 

Liberty Global, the owner of Virgin Media, and Telefonica, which owns O2, will be in a 50-50 joint venture.

The new company plans to invest £10 billion over five years into areas including 5G networks and broadband connections.

O2 is the UK’s largest phone company and joining with Virgin Media will challenge rivals, such as BT, by bringing together mobile, broadband, and TV services.

The merger is expected to be completed by next year.

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