Artwork for FTWeekend Comment - issue dated 09.05.20

 Pensioners are at High Coronavirus Death Risk than Working Class

The employed population of the UK is concerned about the threat of the coronavirus with the ease in lockdown while stats show that the senior citizen category is at a greater risk of getting infected by the virus. People aged 65 and above are at a greater coronavirus death risk.

According to the figures, nearly 4000 COVID-19 related deaths reported are of people under the age of 65 which makes it 12% of the total death rate, while 30,978 deaths reported, are of the elderly.

The stats show that pensioners are at 34 times greater risk of fatality since the death rate among people over 65 in 286 fatalities out of 100,000 people while among people aged less than 65 years old the risk is far lower of 8.4 deaths out of 100,000 people.

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The statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics show that the death rate among people aged less than 45 is even lower. In this category, 401 fatalities have been reported so far which accounts for nearly 1% of the total death rate or 1 death out of 100,000 people.

Apart from age, researchers say that several other factors contribute to the vulnerability of the person against the virus which includes the ethnic origin of the individual, underlying health conditions as well as the profession of the individual is a huge contributing factor to the high coronavirus death risk.

However, considering the working population of the UK, the coronavirus death rate is different among genders. It is higher among men being 9.9 every 100,000 people while the risk is lower among women being 5.2 every 100,000. The death rate also varies among people coming from different professions as health care professionals are more vulnerable to the infection.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has issued a report which shows that the death toll among some minorities is considerably higher as the data suggests that the white population of the UK has 2.5 times lower mortality rate as compared to ethnic minorities such as Black Africans and Pakistani people residing in Britain.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the latest statistics showing that people working for manual jobs are also at a greater coronavirus death risk.

The data suggests that as compared to professional workers, men working with minimum wage jobs are nearly at four times greater risk of coronavirus death with the mortality rate being 21.4 deaths every 100,000 men which is much lower among professional workers being 5.4 every 100,000 people.

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Professor Neil Pearce from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said that the male and female working population is at high risk due to more exposure and interaction among people. Another fact is that low wage-earning people have worse health conditions that high paid individuals but the greater risk of coronavirus death are mainly due to more interactions with people.

As compared to pensioners, the death toll among the working class is comparatively much lower but it varies among people depending on their job and exposure to the public.

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