MATT Hancock has been told "black lives matter" as new Public Health England data reveals the coronavirus risk for those from ethnic minorities is up to 50% higher compared to white Britons.

Railway worker Belly Mujinga, 47, and A&E consultant Manjeet Singh Riyat, 52, are amongst those to lose their lives in England during the pandemic.

Findings from the Office for National Statistics suggested Covid-19 death rates for black men and women in England were more than four times higher than those for white males and females.

The equivalent data for Scotland is not available.

But last week research funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office and the Medical Research Council found black people in England were at the highest risk of having laboratory-confirmed infection – more than three times more than white people.

Study leader Dr Vittal Katikireddi, of Glasgow University, called on authorities to "urgently" tackle the issue.

READ MORE: Scots plan to protest against ‘oppressive US forces’

Today a UK Government report has confirmed that "people of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death than people of white British ethnicity" and "people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other black ethnicity had between 10 and 50% higher risk of death when compared to white British."

The results are revealed during heightened outrage about race-related inequality, linked to the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd in the USA.

Civil unrest over his death and those of other black men and women, often at the hands of police, has continued for several days.

Campaigners have designated today as Blackout Tuesday, when musicians and other content creators refuse to share their work on social media as a form of protest.

The National:

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In Westminster, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said people are "understandably angry about injustices" and admitted that the pandemic has exposed "huge disparities in the health of our nation".

Hancock said this is something he is "determined to understand in full and address".

He said age remains the biggest risk factor, making people aged 80 or over 70 times more likely to die from the virus than those aged under 40.

Working-age men are twice as likely to die from Covid-19 than working-age women.

Mortality rates in the most deprived areas were more than double those in the least deprived areas for both males and females.

Risks were also higher for people in public-facing roles, such as taxi drivers, but the Public Health England work found those working in hospitals "are not" at increasesd risk.

Hancock acknowledged that "being black or from a minority ethnic background is a major risk factor", but said there is "much more work to do" to understand the reasons why.

Responding, Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said "we've always known that there's a gradiant in health" and said the findings on ethnicity must be "a call to action".

He said Covid-19 "thrives on inequalities", telling the chamber: "Black lives matter, Mr Speaker."