The impact of the risk of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) members of the UK dental profession
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There is growing evidence that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in the UK are at increased risk of death from coronavirus (COVID-19), with Black Afro-Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations being particularly at risk. Although the reasons are unclear, it is likely to be a combination of cultural and socioeconomic, as well as the higher prevalence of co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, raised body mass index (BMI) and type 2 diabetes in these populations. The NHS is advising that frontline staff of BAME origin should be risk-assessed regarding their safety in working in clinical areas which are at risk of COVID-19. There is, however, little evidence on the risks posed to the BAME community within the dental profession. This paper outlines some of the challenges faced, and advocates that urgent action needs to be taken to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and ensure BAME staff safety upon returning to work.
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