Black people in England are more likely to test positive for Covid-19

Black people in England are 3.4 times more likely to test positive for Covid-19 than people from white British backgrounds, study shows

  • Those in black minority groups are more than three times as likely to test positive
  • The researchers believe socioeconomic differences in ethnic groups are a factor
  • The new study linked Public Health England test result data with the UK Biobank 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Black people in England are 3.4 times more likely to test positive for Covid-19 than people from white British backgrounds, a new study shows.

Other minority ethnic groups are also at higher risk of catching the virus, with those from South Asian backgrounds 2.4 times more likely to test positive.

The findings are based on data from nearly 400,000 participants in the UK Biobank study, a long-term study investigating the contribution of genes and the environment to the development of disease.

This data – which includes information on ethnicity, socioeconomic position, health and behavioural risk factors – was correlated with Covid-19 test results from Public Health England, which holds a database of all test results in England.

The UK Biobank team gained permission from study participants to confidentially link their Covid-19 test results to their Biobank health records, which are stored anonymously. 

The University of Glasgow researchers conclude that socioeconomic differences, such as finances and access to resources, are likely key to the findings, rather than just genetics. 

They say that an immediate policy response is needed to ensure the health system is responsive to the needs of ethnic minority groups.  

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that some ethnic minority groups are more vulnerable to the adverse consequences of Covid-19. 

NHS data has previously revealed that Covid-19 fatalities are higher among England’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups than the general population. 

Ethnic minority groups, especially black and South Asian people seem to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse consequences of Covid-19

Compared to people from white British backgrounds, the risks of testing positive were largest in in black and South Asian minority groups who were 3.4 and 2.4 times more likely to test positive, respectively, with people of Pakistani ethnicity at highest risk in the south Asian group (3.2 times more likely to test positive)

‘There is unlikely to be a single factor underlying these differences,’ Dr. S Vittal Katikireddi at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow told MailOnline.

‘I think an important part of the picture is socioeconomic differences – some ethnic groups are worse off financially and have less access to resources. 

‘That doesn’t seem to provide the whole picture, however. 

‘We haven’t been able to directly look at genetic differences so far, but based on what we know about ethnic differences in health more generally, genetics is unlikely to be an important contributor.’

Dr Katikireddi also said behaviour-related factors – like smoking and obesity – and pre-existing disease did not seem to be important contributors to the findings – although these are important risk factors for Covid-19 complications. 

Previous pandemics, such as the 1918 flu pandemic, have disproportionately impacted ethnic minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

While early evidence suggests the same is true for the current crisis, research into the subject remains limited, according to the researchers, who are from the University of Glasgow and Public Health Scotland. 

The NHS’s health and care workers, who often are from minority ethnic populations, have access to the necessary protective personal equipment (PPE), the authors say

To find out more, the researchers gained permission from study participants to confidentially link the results of Covid-19 tests conducted in England between March 16 and May 3 this year with UK Biobank data, according to Dr Katikireddi.

BAME nurses ‘less protected’ as PPE shortages persist 

Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) nurses are more likely to have problems accessing protective equipment, according to a new poll.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) identified a stark and deeply worrying’ contrast over PPE provision for staff from different backgrounds.

The union said it is “unacceptable” that BAME nurses “are less protected than other nursing staff”.

Data has emerged suggesting that people from BAME backgrounds are being disproportionately adversely affected by Covid-19. 

‘We analysed both whether people had tested positive and also whether they tested positive while at hospital,’ he said. 

‘The latter is more likely to reflect severe cases and less likely to be influenced by differences in testing practice.’ 

The test results were based on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which look for DNA rather than antigens and have been widely used in the UK during the pandemic. 

Out of the total participants, 348,735 were white British, 7,323 were South Asian and 6,395 were from black ethnic backgrounds.

2,658 participants had been tested for SARS-CoV-2, the strain of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, and 948 had at least one positive test.

Compared to people from white British backgrounds, the risk of testing positive was largest in black and South Asian minority groups.

Black people were 3.4 times more likely to test positive than white British groups, while South Asian people were 2.4 times more likely.

Within the South Asian sample, people with Pakistani ethnicity were at the highest risk – 3.2 times more likely to test positive than the white British sample, according to the data.

Ethnic minorities were also more likely to receive their diagnosis in a hospital setting, which suggests they were more severely impacted by Covid-19. 

‘One possibility that remains is that some ethnic and socioeconomic groups have a poorer prognosis and are therefore more likely to be admitted to hospital and therefore to be tested,’ the authors note.

Doctors and nurses from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus. Pictured are those that have died from the virus

Ethnic differences in infection risk did not appear to be fully explained by differences in pre-existing health, behavioural risk factors country of birth or socioeconomic differences.

Living in a disadvantaged area was also associated with a higher risk of testing positive – those who were most disadvantaged were 2.2 times more likely to test positive compared with the least disadvantaged people.

Meanwhile, having the lowest level of education made a person exactly two times more likely to test positive compared to those in the study with the highest level of education.

Health and care workers, who are often from minority ethnic populations, should have access to necessary protective personal equipment (PPE), Dr Katikireddi and his authors stress – especially as recent research reveals they are more likely to have trouble accessing it. 

Guidelines in different languages of how to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus should also be considered, they say.

The study authors admit that those who were more advantaged were more likely to participate in the Biobank study and ethnic minorities may be less represented.

Test result data was also only available for England, meaning a broader range of people from ethnic minority groups could suggest they have less of a risk than people from white backgrounds.

Further research is needed to investigate whether these findings are reflective of the broader UK population.

‘Our findings warrant replication in other datasets, ideally including representative samples and across different countries,’ the team write in BMC Medicine.

‘Other social groups, such as homeless people, prisoners and undocumented migrants, experience severe disadvantage and research is necessary to study these highly vulnerable populations too.’ 

BAME communities are two to three times more likely to die from coronavirus 

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are two to three times more likely to die from coronavirus, previous analysis suggests. 

University College London (UCL) researchers found the risk of death from Covid-19 for black African groups was more than three times higher than the general population.

In people of Pakistani background it was also more than times higher, 2.41 times higher for Bangladeshi, black Caribbean was 2.21 times higher, and Indian was 1.7 times higher.

There was 12 per cent lower risk of death from Covid-19 from white populations in England than the general population, the analysis of NHS data by UCL also found.   

Co-author of the report, Dr Delan Devakumar, of the UCL Institute for Global Health, said: ‘Rather than being an equaliser, this work shows that mortality with Covid-19 is disproportionately higher in black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

‘It is essential to tackle the underlying social and economic risk factors and barriers to healthcare that lead to these unjust deaths.’ 

Source: Read Full Article

TV and Movies

Normal People bosses demand Pornhub removes 22-minute compilation of sex scenes from BBC hit – The Sun

NORMAL People bosses have demanded that adult website Pornhub take down a 22-minute compilation video of the show's sex scenes.

It was reported that there is a total of 41 minutes of sex throughout the entire series, making it the BBC’s steamiest drama ever.

The higher-ups on the hit show got their wish as according to Variety, the video was taken down after a removal was requested after a fan uploaded the video to the site last week.

The smash hit received praise for its intimate scenes as they portrayed in a very honest and relatable way.

Executive producer of the series Ed Guiney said: "We're hugely disappointed that excerpts from the series of Normal People have been used in this way. It's both a violation of copyright and more importantly, it's deeply disrespectful to the actors involved and to the wider creative team.

"We have taken appropriate steps to require that the content be removed from the platform with immediate effect."

Pornhub's vice-president Corey Price verified that the footage of the racy scenes has been removed from the website.

He explained: "Pornhub is fully compliant with the law. We respect all copyright requests and as soon as we become aware of the existence of these types of videos on our site, we have them removed."This is nothing new for TV program producers, as they regularly contact video sharing sites to remove any of their content that has been uploaded and have anti-piracy sites scouring the internet for copyright infringement.While popular sites will comply and take the videos down, some illegal sites will play hard ball and TV companies will have to fork out and take legal action.

The video was uploaded by a fan to Pornhub last week, but it has now been taken downCredit: BBC

Normal People is based on a 2018 novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, featured 11 minutes of raunchy action in its second episode.

The BBC show focuses on the rocky relationship between the working-class Connell [Paul Mescal] and well-heeled Marianne Sheridan [Daisy Edgar-Jones] and has been praised for its unflinching take on sexuality.

12 per cent of the show, which has so far been downloaded more than 23million times, is taken up with sex, kissing or foreplay.

A source close to the show revealed the writers had not wanted to deviate from the story's essence.

They said: "The writers wanted to stay true to the book and that featured a lot of sex. They didn’t want to portray it gratuitously though, and an intimacy coach was used to ensure the cast were happy at all times."

Source: Read Full Article

World News

People in New York and New Jersey ignore coronavirus lockdown rules to hit bars and beaches on sweltering Saturday – The Sun

PEOPLE flocked to beaches and bars around New York on Saturday, ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules as city officials warned of a rebound-spike in cases due to "quarantine fatigue".

Beachgoers in New York City and New Jersey sought out sand and sun in Long Beach and Belmar to enjoy the 76-degree weather.

Others soaked up the sun in Central Park, while revelers headed to bars the East Village for take-out booze.

Many traveled further north to Long Beach.

Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine, who is also chairman of the city's health committee, chalked up the crowds to "quarantine fatigue".

He warned of a rebound-spike in coronavirus cases if New Yorkers aren't careful.

"It's only going to get worse as we head into a hot New York City summer," he told the New York Post on Saturday.

Levine urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to plan ahead for the safe outdoor use of streets, beaches, playgrounds and parks.

If the city doesn't act fast, he said, "we will drive non-compliance underground", resulting in massive indoor house parties.

New York Governor Cuomo announced Friday that beaches reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware.

However, he said local officials had the option to keep beaches closed amid COVID-19 fears.

"We are one, multi-state region," he told reporters of the May 22 opening. "What one state does will affect other states." 

Cuomo highlighted that 50 percent capacity was allowed and would be enforced by controlling exits, entrances, and limited parking, while playgrounds, pools, and concessions would remain shut.

He said no group-based activities like volleyball were permitted on the sand, saying state officials had their "eyes wide about" about the risks of easing the restrictions on state beaches.

"The calculation is I'm trying to work in conformity [with], or in accommodation with, our surrounding states," Cuomo said.

As New Yorkers prepared for a heatwave, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said reopening beaches and pools in his jurisdiction are “not in the cards right now."

"Beaches will not open on Memorial Day, but we are putting plans into place so that we can open beaches this summer if it’s safe," he told CNBC, adding that he would be reviewing Cuomo's guidelines.

Cuomo had previously said New York state was aware of New Jersey's Governor Murphy's decision to announce the reopening of beaches throughout the state on Thursday.

De Blasio told CNBC sports venues, auditoriums and large venues might be turned into cooling centers as the hot weather intensifies after confirming city beaches would not be reopening that soon.

NYC Parks Department & Recreation officials maintain around 14 miles of beach that usually open from Memorial Day weekend through September.

These include beauty spots like Rockaway Beach in Queens, Brooklyn's Coney Island, and Orchard Beach which usually attract thousands visitors every summer.

But on Friday, de Blasio said there would be enhanced patrols there in an effort to enforce the closure.

Meanwhile, Cuomo said if sun worshippers were unable to go to a state beach, they would "flood" other beaches in Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey, putting New Yorkers and others in jeopardy.

The threat of overcrowding also prompted this decision to "open them with safeguards," he said.

But if people flouted the rules or local officials don't enforce them Cuomo warned the state "will close those beaches immediately."

Source: Read Full Article


This Lightweight Cooling Comforter Has a Near-Perfect Rating from Over 3,000 Reviews

Buy It! Buffy Breeze Cooling Comforter, $179–$259;

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE's Shopping newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home decor and more. And check out PEOPLE's Coupons page for even more discounts.

Source: Read Full Article


People are buying their pets cosy cup noodle beds to snooze in and it's the best

Every pet deserves a cosy bed of the highest standards to snooze in – even if they then ignore your design efforts and just sleep in the box it came in.

And what could be cosier than slipping into a giant pot noodle?

We’re not actually advocating sleeping in a bowl of soup, to be clear. That wouldn’t be particularly comfortable.

Instead we’re fans of these pet beds designed to look like big Japanese cup noodles, complete with lids as blankets.

The cup noodle beds have come to our attention thanks to a video of a Shiba Inu called Yuki having a rest in a nice faux-ramen cup.

But the beds actually come in a range of different pot noodle designs – or flavours.

You can choose your favourite colour or your favourite noodle dish, whether that’s a veggie treat with an egg or a tonkatsu ramen.

Each bed costs 4,700 yen – around £35 – and includes the bed, a ramen-design pillow, and a lid.

They’re pretty much made for Instagram – and let’s face it, you could do with an excuse to do another full-scale photoshoot of your pet – but also look mighty comfy for cats and small dogs.

Now all we need is for someone to make a bigger version so we can snooze in our own noodle pots and match with our furry friends. The dream.

If cup noodles aren’t your speed, we’d recommend having a gander at the related items on this bed’s Amazon page.

Over in Japan brands are nailing the pet furniture game – we’ve already become obsessed with hot dog beds, a cat cushion made to look like a fluffy pancake, and luxury hammocks just for pets.

If you’ve found a bit of furniture that tops this marvel, please do let us know in the comments section.

And, as always, share pics of your pets too. We’d love to see ’em.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Government might allow people to connect with family in new rules

People could start mixing in ‘bubbles’ of family and friends from NEXT MONTH under Boris’s roadmap for exiting the lockdown

  • The Government are considering if it can allow an wider definition of ‘household’
  • It might allow people to include one another household in an exclusive ‘bubble’ 
  • People may be able to gather in larger groups, with small weddings taking place 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Government is considering allowing people to expand their household group to include one other household ‘in the same exclusive group’ and is also examining how to let people gather in slightly larger groups, including for weddings, new guidance says. 

In the new strategy published on Monday, it made clear that people should not meet up with more than one person outside their immediate household and encounters should remain socially distanced.  

But the Government said it is ‘considering a range of options to reduce the most harmful social effects’ of restrictive lockdown measures in a section titled Social and Family Contact.

It is considering if it can safely allow an expanded definition of ‘household’ to allow people to reconnect with close family members in ‘bubbles’ from next month. 

The Government is considering if it can safely allow an expanded definition of ‘household’ to allow people to reconnect with close family members. Pictured, a family at their home in north London

Small weddings could also be allowed to take place from next month as the Government looks at how to allow people to gather in larger groups.

Under step two – to be made no earlier than June 1 – it says officials are ‘examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings’.

But it says places of worship could be closed until July 4 at the earliest, dependent on whether they can adequately enforce social distancing measures. 

The ‘bubbles’ could allow two households to share childcare duties, freeing up more people to return to work, it adds, although the potential effects of this on transmission rates are to be examined.

One proposed idea being considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is if it is safe to change the rules to allow one household to expand and include one other household in the same group.

This suggests a family with children would be able to incorporate a set of grandparents into their household group, for example. 

The expanded definition of ‘household’ could allow two households to share childcare duties, freeing up more people to work. Pictured, a street party in Clapham on April 25

But, in a footnote, the document states multiple household groups are not allowed, saying: ‘If Household A merges with B, Household B cannot also elect to be in a group with Household C.

‘This would create a chain that would allow the virus to spread widely.’

The document says this method could allow the isolated more social contact and reduce the loneliness and social harms of the current restrictions while limiting virus spread.

The proposed idea is based on a New Zealand government model of household ‘bubbles’.

The NZ government guidance says a ‘bubble’ is a group of people you can have contact with, and aside from an immediate household, it can be extended to include close family, caregivers, or to support isolated people.

Boris Johnson has finally released his full lockdown exit plan. The guidance advises to keep the bubble as local as possible, to keep it small, and to consider the risks to any vulnerable people within the bubble group

In New Zealand’s strictest phase of lockdown, their ‘bubbles’ were limited to their households. 

Those living alone could socialise with one other person isolating in the same neighbourhood.

As New Zealand gradually eases their lockdown, their ‘bubble’ concept has expanded to include one or two more people. 

The guidance advises to keep the bubble as local and small, and to consider the risks to any vulnerable people within the bubble group. 

The document says: ‘Over the coming weeks, the Government will engage on the nature and timing of the measures in this step, in order to consider the widest possible array of views on how best to balance the health, economic and social effects.

School sweethearts Ben Jackson, 25, and Sophie Austin, 26, from Croydon, got engaged in August 2018, but their dream wedding, planned for March 28, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. They decided to get married on zoom instead

300 friends and loved ones tuned in to the ceremony thanks to the video conference app Zoom. New guidance says officials are ‘examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings’ from June 1

‘As restrictions continue, the Government is considering a range of options to reduce the most harmful social effects to make the measures more sustainable.

‘For example, the Government has asked SAGE to examine whether, when and how it can safely change the regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group.

‘The intention of this change would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. It would also support some families to return to work by, for example, allowing two households to share childcare.’ 

The road map said the Government is also examining how to hold ‘small weddings’.   

All social events, including weddings but excluding funerals, were halted when the Government announced lockdown measures on March 23.

Before this, the Church of England restricted weddings during the outbreak to a maximum of five people, including the bride and groom.

On Sunday evening, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland indicated that there may be a change to rules regarding weddings, saying to ‘watch this space’.

Mr Buckland told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: ‘You’ll be glad to know that we are giving anxious consideration to the issue of marriages.’ 

But, there is no reference in the new document to foreign holidays – suggesting they are off the agenda for a long time to come.

Source: Read Full Article


Our Novice Cook Tried Making Japanese Soufflé Pancakes and It Was Kind of a Disaster

Alas, my attempts were fruitless.

Again, I do not have round pancake molds at my disposal, so I was left to fend for myself. I tried pouring the batter into a circle, but I could not — even after using the spatula to force a rounder shape. You're supposed to cook the pancakes for about 4-6 minutes on each side, but at this point, the bottoms were completely burned and my fluffy pancake batter was no more.

All this is to say that cooking Japanese soufflé pancakes is no beginner's task, I assume even with the molds. While my second attempt was certainly valiant, in the end, I really just cooked a stack of burned pancakes. They were slightly fluffier than those I might normally consume on a Saturday morning, but for the amount of effort I put into the process, they were not worth it.

So while I acknowledge that I am a walking kitchen disaster, I'm also confident that cooking these fluffy pancakes demands so much precision that it's a gamble for many cooks, so embark with cautionand I would probably invest in some pancake molds if you do.

Source: Read Full Article

Beauty and Fashion

You Can Get Celeb-Loved Levi’s Jeans for as Little as $15 Right Now

Buy It! Levi’s 711 Skinny Women’s Jeans, $19.97 (orig. $59.50);

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE's Shopping newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home decor and more. And check out PEOPLE's Coupons page for even more discounts.

Source: Read Full Article


10 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts You Can Order Online Today

A pair of classic stonewash jeans is a great gift for the mom who gets dressed and ready for the day no matter what, even during a global pandemic. Use one of these coupons to save up to 70 percent on select styles right now.

Buy It! Levi’s 501 Original Cropped Women’s Jeans, $98;

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE's Shopping newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home decor and more. And check out PEOPLE's Coupons page for even more discounts.

Source: Read Full Article


How ‘Normal People’ Turned A Quiet Love Story Into An Epic, Sexy TV Show

There is a lot of nakedness in Hulu’s Normal People, both physically and emotionally. As two Irish teens stumble through passionate, imperfect sex, you feel as if you’ve been allowed an intimate look at two human beings’ most private selves. Marianne is wry, bookish, and self-assured, unconcerned with others’ opinions of her yet desperate for the love she can’t find within herself; Connell is deeply intellectual and sheepishly charming, frequently stymied by his insecurity and propensity to overthink. The two begin having clandestine hook-ups and fall secretly in love, separated by the hierarchies of social class and high school cliques. They feel for each other profoundly but often fail to verbalize it, resulting in a prolonged and torrid love affair propelled more by what isn’t said than what is.

That unspoken tension made translating Sally Rooney’s introspective 2018 novel into a television series especially difficult. But the show doesn’t shy away from silence. Whereas the book was guided by Marianne and Connell’s revealing narration, Hulu’s adaptation relies on their physicality, punctuating limited dialogue with lingering close-ups that capture each ache in studied detail. The perspective shifts readily from person to person, but is at times pointedly obscured: you see an earlobe, a shoulder, the back of someone’s head.

"You want an audience to feel like they’re seeing what’s really happening, but at the same time I don’t like to put people at a perfect vantage point," co-director and executive producer Lenny Abrahamson tells Bustle. "That makes the viewer want to lean in and understand more."

It also acts as a parallel for the miscommunications that regularly force Marianne and Connell apart, at first because they’re young and afraid to express themselves vulnerably, and later due to deeper emotional problems that become more apparent as the story unfolds. In the absence of narration, their confusion is more sharply felt. "You can kind of drift between points of view without it being as obvious as in a piece of writing, where you absolutely know whether it’s the narrator or a particular character," Abrahamson says.

For stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne) and Paul Mescal (Connell), the challenge was in deciphering how the characters’ internal intensity would translate naturally onscreen, rather than trying to overcompensate by heightening it. "[Connell] thinks really quickly and thinks deeply about things, but he expresses that incredibly slowly, if at all," Mescal explains. Ultimately, Abrahamson and co-director Hettie Macdonald "trusted us as actors to do less."

As Marianne and Connell move from high school to university and into early adulthood, they grow together like vines: weaving in and out of each other’s paths, separate and yet entangled. They date other people, discover their passions, and apologize for how they’ve mistreated each other, eventually building a relationship rooted foremost in care and friendship, not adolescent lust. This enables them to begin articulating themselves more openly and directly. Still, it’s "baby steps rather than big moments or revelations," showrunner Ed Guiney says.

It’s not until the penultimate episode that Marianne finally admits to Connell how much of an enigma he is to her. "I think Connell feels that Marianne knows herself and that she’s confident in that, and it’s the first time she’s really said, ‘I don’t find it obvious what you want,’" Edgar-Jones says. Hours later, after confronting Marianne’s abusive brother and vowing to never let anyone hurt her again, Connell makes what he wants clear.

"[Their] capacity to really speak to each other ultimately overcomes the insecurities and obfuscations that have been between them in the past," Abrahamson says. "They really have arrived at a kind of understanding of who they are and what their relationship means."

If Marianne and Connell’s inability to say how deeply they love each other is what kept them apart for so many years, it’s freely sharing it that separates them in the end. Connell is accepted into a writing program in New York City, while Marianne doesn’t want to leave her life in Ireland. For the first time, they make the decision to part actively and together — willing to do what’s best for each other even when it’s most painful. It’s an ending to a love story that’s as exquisitely agonizing as its beginning — though with a little hope, it’s more of an ellipsis.

Source: Read Full Article