- White people had about 235 cases per 100,000 person-weeks during the third Covid wave
- Meanwhile, in other ethnic groups the figure was as low as 98, suggesting that white people exacerbated cases.
- And cases were higher in office-based jobs, Office for National Statistics data show.
Official data shows white-collar activists started England’s third Covid wave.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that office workers, bankers, teachers and other occupations had the highest case rates this summer.
Its report also found that for the first time in the pandemic, white people had higher infection rates per population size than ethnic minorities.
Figures show that the campaign to get people back to work after the winter lockdown fueled the spread of the ultra-transmissible Delta variant, which was first introduced in the country in late April.
Between May 23 and July 25, there were 235 confirmed cases among white people per 100,000 person-weeks. For comparison, this figure was as low as 98 per 100,000 in other ethnic minority communities.
During the second wave that began last September, cases were highest among Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and black adults.
Experts speculated that this could be due to the fact that ethnic minorities were more likely to be in blue-collar jobs and were unable to work from home, increasing the risk of catching COVID.
But in the third wave, there were 229 cases per 100,000 person-weeks for lower administrative and business positions such as managers. Infection rates were lower in regular occupations such as cleaners, labourers, bus and lorry drivers – a reversal of the trend seen in January.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that the lower rates among minorities in the third wave may be the result of higher natural immunity from previous waves.
The COVID case rates were highest for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups and the lowest for the Chinese ethnic group. The difference was most notable during the second wave – between last September and May – with infection rates up to 391 per 100,000 in the first two groups, but just 93 per 100,000 for the Chinese ethnic group.
In the second wave, infections among people working in regular jobs such as sweepers, laborers, bus and lorry drivers were 196 per 100,000 person-weeks, and much lower in higher managerial occupations, including lawyers, architects, chief executive officers and The Economist (143). But in the third wave, rates are highest among those with lower managerial, administrative or business occupations (229) or intermediate roles (228). These jobs include managers, journalists and teachers, as well as bank employees, paramedics and police officers.
Top UK doctors say they would refuse a Covid booster jab if offered one in protest against slowing growth rates in poorer countries
Top doctors have pledged to do away with any potential booster COVID vaccines that will be offered to them amid backlash that extra doses are not being sent to poorer countries.
Third jabs are an important part of No. 10’s plan to avoid another crisis this winter and prevent another lockdown. Another 32 million Britons over the age of 50, frontline NHS workers and care home residents will be offered another Christmas jab.
Evidence has shown that immunity may decrease over time but experts are yet to decide whether there should be a wider rollout in the UK. However, Israel has already said that all over-12s may receive a third dose.
But since the idea of rolling out top-up vaccines arose, some experts insisted that additional jabs would be better put to use by giving people the first dose in other countries.
Now some leading British physicians have announced that they will opt out of receiving any boosters when they are offered.
Dr. Jake Dunning, researcher in infectious diseases at the University of Oxford and the Royal Free Hospital, compared the rollout to giving people an extra life jacket, while ignoring those with no life jacket.
But during the third wave, between May 23 and July 25, office-based jobs had the highest coronavirus infection rates.
The ONS suggested it was fueled by workers returning in May, when infection rates were at their lowest this year and some companies encouraging employees to go back to the office.
The government agency said: ‘The easing of lockdown restrictions, such as working from home and limits on social contacts, and the vaccine roll-out program may also have played a role in the changing pattern of COVID case rates by socio-demographic characteristics. During the pandemic.’
Official data shows that white people play a more intermediate and lower managerial role than other ethnic groups – where cases were seen to be highest.
No10 completely withdrew its work from home guidance on 19 July, when most restrictions were eased. At that time, Boris Johnson Called for a gradual return to the office.
Unveiling his winter plan to prevent another lockdown, the prime minister warned last week that work from home could be rolled back as a way to control winter escalation.
SAGE, which provides scientific advice to the government, has said that working from home is one of the best ways to reduce interactions and prevent the spread of the virus.
During the second wave, between 1 September and 22 May, people in Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups had the highest Covid infection rates, with 391 cases recorded per 100,000 person-weeks, the ONS measured rates.
But since May 23, when the third wave began, the white Britons group has been affected the most.
The infection rate among white Britons was 235 per 100,000 person-weeks, compared to Chinese (98), black African (137) and Bangladeshi (139).