A medical worker gets ready to collect a sample from a man at a school turned into a center to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amidst its spread in New Delhi, India, June 22, 2020. LONDON - The probability of death from COVID-19 increases dramatically with increasing poverty because of underlying inequalities in society in many poorer countries, according to researchers from Imperial College London.
The warning comes as the coronavirus pandemic expands rapidly in many countries classed as lower-income or lower-middle-income, such as India and Nigeria. India has recorded over 13,500 deaths from COVID-19 and close to 250,000 cases, with infection rates climbing rapidly in recent days, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
Imperial College researchers say unfair or avoidable differences in health among different groups in society — known as “health inequities” — mean that some groups are at far greater risk.
“From just three factors alone, that is, the availability of hand-washing facilities, an ability to work from home and hospital access, we estimated on average a 32% increase in the probability of death from COVID-19 when comparing individuals from the poorest households to those in the wealthiest households, with the key driver really being lack of access to hospital and ICU beds,” Peter Winskill of Imperial College London, told VOA in a Skype interview earlier this month.
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