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There is a real danger that covid-19 will become entrenched as a disease of poverty

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 19 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n986

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  1. Christina Pagel, director
  1. Clinical Operational Research Unit, University College London, UK
  1. c.pagel{at}
    Follow Christina Pagel on Twitter @chrischirp

We must act now to prevent a further widening in wellbeing between poor and rich

Since reaching a height of around 70 000 confirmed covid-19 cases a day in England at the start of the year, the third lockdown has brought cases down to around 2500 a day (at the time of writing). Hospital admissions are back to levels last seen in September 2020, and over half of the adult population has received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine. We’ve experienced almost six months of national lockdown in the past year and are just emerging from what has been promised to be the last one.

But while we have all experienced this pandemic together, we have not all had the same experience. Deprived and minority ethnic communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic so far and there is now a very real danger that covid-19 will become entrenched as a disease of poverty.

Those living in deprived communities have been more likely to contract covid-19, with weekly average case rates since September 50% higher than the least deprived communities (283 per week per 100 000 people compared with 184 per week per 100 000 people). Compared with …

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