People from minority ethnic communities in Swindon are more likely to contract Covid-19 but less likely to have been vaccinated according to a draft report.

After the setting up of a task group of councillors and lay members to investigate the impact of coronavirus on black and other ethnic minority groups, its report will be presented to Swindon Borough Council’s adults, health, social care and housing overview and scrutiny committee next week.

It says that members of non-white communities account for 15.4 per cent of Swindon’s total population – but 29.2 per cent of its total Covid cases so far.

And that figure could be higher because 17 per cent of positive cases do not define their own ethnicity.

The report adds: “In regard to deaths, those from BAME communities account for 12.2 per cent of Covid-19 related deaths.

"The Asian population accounts for 6.4 per cent of the Swindon population and for 16 per cent of Covid cases and 5.7 per cent of deaths.”

Despite being more likely to contract the virus, black and Asian people only make up 2.6 per cent of the 107,000 people who have received at least one does of a vaccine in Swindon up to mid-April.

The report says: “Some BAME communities distrust UK authorities and give more credence to news from their country of origin. Experience of institutional abuse and immigration issues has led to the distrust over time which has led to some BAME communities being less likely to opt for the vaccination.”

The report points out that overcrowded housing has played a part in the disproportionate impact of the disease.

It says 273 houses of 700 surveyed had at least two people in every bedroom, and 79 of those had more than two per room.

The origin of the head of the household in more than 90 per cent of these homes, 249 of 273, was not European or western.

The report says: “221 of the head of households reported their birthplace as India, two reported Sri Lanka, and seven reported Bangladesh."

The survey also identified 185 of the 703 households had one bathroom for five people or less and 38 households had less than one bathroom per six people.

The report lists next steps to addressing the issue, including increasing uptake of vaccination, reducing loneliness and isolation, and increasing representation and involvement in key activities.