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Disabled people make up more than half of all Covid deaths, new figures show

DISABLED people continue to be more at risk of dying from Covid and make up more than half of all deaths from the virus, new figures show. 

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today show that 58 per cent of people who died from the virus up to March 9 were disabled. 

The rates of death decreased significantly for both non-disabled and disabled people during the second and third wave of the pandemic. 

But the analysis showed a “continued elevated risk of Covid-19 mortality in disabled people compared with non-disabled people which remains largely unchanged across the three waves of the pandemic,” ONS’s Julie Stanborough said. 

“No single factor explains this elevated risk, and this analysis suggests it is down to a range of disadvantages experienced by disabled people.” 

That risk is even greater among disabled women, who are 1.6 times more likely to die from the virus than non-disabled women; for men it is 1.4 times greater. 

Disability rights campaigners say the figures show the continued risk of the virus for people with disabilities, with many returning to shielding. 

Deaf-blind charity Sense’s chief executive Richard Kramer said: “Making up 22 per cent of the UK population, disabled people account for more than half of all deaths from Covid. 

“While the country plans to live with Covid, with restrictions and free testing having come to an end, it’s important to remember that for many disabled people life hasn’t returned to normal. Many continue, or have returned to, shielding.
 
“The Covid inquiry must happen with no further delays so we can learn from the mistakes that have been made. Disabled people must be heard.”

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