“Shocking” Coronavirus Death Statistics For Disabled People

Disabled people’s organisations have demanded an inquiry into the reasons behind the disproportionately high number of deaths of disabled people during the pandemic, following the publication of “shocking” and long-overdue official figures.

They have also called on the government to take urgent action to protect disabled people from COVID-19, after the figures showed younger disabled women were as much as 11 times more likely to die from coronavirus than non-disabled women in the same age group.

They spoke out after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) finally produced the first official figures* to show how many disabled people in England and Wales have died from COVID-19, four months after the UK’s first recorded death.

Despite the shocking figures, their publication passed almost unnoticed in the media.

And they came as the government announced a further relaxation of the restrictions affecting disabled people who have been shielding during the crisis (see separate story).

The new figures show that younger disabled males (those “limited a lot” in daily life and aged between nine and 64) were 6.5 times more likely to have died due to COVID-19 than non-disabled males, while disabled females between nine and 64 were even more at risk, with a rate of death 11.3 times higher than non-disabled females in the same age group.

For older people, the rates were 2.4 for men aged 65 and over and 3.2 for women.

The figures also show that about 22,500 disabled people of all ages died due to COVID-19 between 2 March and 15 May, compared with about 15,500 non-disabled people.

Among those aged between nine and 64, there were about 1,600 deaths of disabled people (including both those “limited a lot” and those “limited a little”), compared with about 2,100 non-disabled people.


Read the full article, with reaction from the disability community on the Disability News Service website