Public Health Scotland (PHS) has today published an updated analysis of available data on the variation in outcomes by ethnic group among those tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.

As in the earlier reports, the analysis focusses on the risk of a more serious outcome due to COVID-19, resulting in hospital admission, admission to a critical care unit or death. It includes the most recent data available as at 15 February, and includes a comparison of the impact between the first and second wave of the pandemic.

The results provide continued evidence of increased risks in some ethnic minority groups, and this has persisted during the second wave, rising to around a 3-fold increase in risk for some ethnic groups.

While rates of hospitalisation or death were higher during the second wave across all of Scotland’s population, those of South Asian ethnicity appear to have been at proportionally greater risk.

Dr Andrew Fraser, Senior Advisor at PHS, said:

"Each and every death from COVID-19 is a tragedy; responding to the effects of the virus and doing all we can to protect the nation’s health remains our priority. Understanding any inequity in risk of COVID-19 is a crucial part of this".

"Public Health Scotland continues to work with NHS Boards to maximise the recording of ethnicity on hospital records so that we can maximise the value of data we already have collected. Our work with the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity continues to draw on this analysis, adds to the work of the National Records of Scotland and larger studies, including from England, and makes recommendations on how to improve the quality of data and evidence available on ethnicity. This is crucial so that we can fully understand and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on all of Scotland’s population, and groups within it".

For the full analysis, please see our Weekly COVID-19 Statistical report.

The analysis published today is our fifth update. You can read our previous analysis of COVID-19 outcomes by ethnic group. There are monthly analyses from May, July, August and December 2020.

Last updated: 06 October 2022