The official guidance says UK and international data indicates “people from BAME backgrounds are also being disproportionately affected by COVID-19”.
NHS England has written to all trusts across the nation, advising them to carry out “risk-assessments” to workers from those backgrounds.
In a segment of a letter from Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, he said: “Emerging UK and international data suggests that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are also being disproportionately affected by Covid19.
“Public Health England have been asked by DHSC to investigate this. In advance of their report and guidance, on a precautionary basis we recommend employers should risk asses staff at a potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements accordingly.”
While the measure is described as “precautionary”, figures show that BAME healthcare workers within the NHS are dying disproportionately with COVID-19.
Latest Sky News analysis suggests 60% of the total number of deaths among NHS staff with the disease are from a BAME background.
The Department of Health and Social care announced on 16 April is that a review would be conducted, to investigate why BAME people are being affected disproportionately.
Scientists have already highlighted factors including:
* Increased underlying health conditions among BAME people, such as heart conditions, type 2 diabetes and respiratory issues.
*BAME people are more likely to work in essential roles such as the health and social care, bus drivers, taxi drivers and shop keepers.
*BAME families are more likely to live in multi-generational, overcrowded homes than white counterparts.