Public Health Scotland has published analysis of available data on the variation in outcomes by ethnic group among those tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Today we are publishing a fourth update to the analysis. It shows that there is a 2-fold increase in risk of admission to critical care or death due to COVID-19 among those of South Asian origin, and that this seems to be particularly evident among those of Pakistani ethnicity. There is also evidence of an increased risk of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 among those of Caribbean or Black ethnicity. We will continue to monitor data on the impact of COVID-19 in these groups as the pandemic continues. 

Claire Sweeney, Director or Place and Wellbeing at Public Health Scotland 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 make the best use of the data the NHS already collects. Our work with the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity continues to draw on this analysis. It also adds to the work of the National Records of Scotland and larger studies, including those from England, and makes recommendations on how to improve the quality of data and evidence available on ethnicity. This is crucial so that as a country 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.

Read our analysis of COVID-19 outcomes by ethnic group from May, July and August 2020.

Last updated: 06 October 2022