Data analysed by Imran has demonstrated a clear link between areas in Bradford showing the greatest number of new positive cases of Covid-19 and the number of households living in poverty.
The data was sourced from Public Health England’s (PHE) publication of the number of new positive cases over the last four weeks and the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) publication of the number of households living in poverty after housing costs are taken into account, and shows that those areas showing the greatest number of cases are significantly more likely to be made up of more households in poverty.
According to PHE’s figures, those Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs), a localised geographic area used by the ONS and others, with the greatest number of positive cases in Bradford are Shearbridge & University, Girlington, Heaton Highgate, Holme Top and Undercliffe, all of which have at least 1 in 3 households living in poverty.
This analysis follows reports by PHE and the ONS in early June 2020 which highlighted connections between poverty and mortality rates from Covid-19 and showed that those living in the poorest areas in England and Wales were twice as likely to die from Covid-19 than those in the most affluent areas.
Speaking on the link between the number of Covid-19 cases and poverty in Bradford, Imran said:
“We have always suspected that there is a strong link between the number of households in poverty and the number of positive Covid-19 cases, but this data proves that the relationship between the two is beyond all doubt, and proves, as I have long argued that poverty is a public health emergency.
“No longer can people see poverty and the circumstances that drag people into it as something unconnected and irrelevant to them. Tackling it is in the best interests of us all as a society, and we simply cannot ignore those living in poverty, thinking that their situations don’t affect us, when as the weakest and most vulnerable chain in public health they so clearly do.
“We also didn’t need data to prove the link between positive cases and poverty. When those in poverty are working in precarious employment where they are unable to afford time off, are excluded from Government support schemes, are exploited by unscrupulous employers, and are scared of asking for PPE, it was inevitable that they would feel forced to take risks at work, putting them in greater danger from Covid-19.
“It is therefore clear that if we are to stem the spike in local cases in Bradford and avoid another lockdown, we must do more to boost the incomes of those at the lowest end, extend the financial support schemes to cover those who are excluded until this crisis has passed, and introduce a new, stronger employment rights settlement to prevent abuse or exploitation at work.”