Disabled people at risk

Nearly six out of every 10 people who died with coronavirus in England last year were disabled, official figures suggest. 

Some 30,296 of the 50,888 deaths between January and November 2020 were of people with a disability, data from the Office for National Statistics shows. The figures also suggest the risk of death is three times greater for more severely disabled people. 

People with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, accounting for 17.2 per cent of the study population but nearly 60 per cent of coronavirus deaths. 

The ONS said an “important part” of the increased risk was because disabled people were “disproportionately exposed to a range of generally disadvantageous circumstances”, compared with non-disabled people.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, LGA Community Wellbeing Board Chairman, said: “Every death from this dreadful virus is a tragedy and it is particularly harrowing to see that disabled people have been disproportionately affected. Protecting our most clinically vulnerable people has been councils’ number one priority throughout the pandemic, delivering a wide range of support such as access to food and medicine, mental health services and meeting social care needs, as well as helping those who are in or at risk of financial hardship.”

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