Black people account for over 80% of Covid cases in Washington D.C.

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Washington, May 27 (IANS) African-Americans have accounted for more than 80 per cent of the coronavirus cases reported in Washington, D.C. in recent days, compared with the 46 per cent late last year, a media report said.

The share of the new infections involving Black people spiked sharply in the US capital city starting around mid-April, when the coronavirus vaccine became widely available to D.C. residents, Xinhua news agency quoted The Washington Post report as saying on Wednesday.

The share of cases involving White people, meanwhile, has fallen below 10 per cent, compared with 33 per cent of infections in December 2020.

“It is yet another way in which the highly contagious virus, which has disproportionately sickened and killed people of color throughout the pandemic, has exacerbated the nation’s deep racial divides,” said The Washington Post report.

“Similar trends have been seen elsewhere in the country, including in both Kentucky and Tennessee.”

The district’s population is about 45 per cent Black and 42.5 per cent White, according to the US Census Bureau estimates.

But “White residents have been significantly more likely to get vaccinated, due to higher rates of both hesitancy and access issues for Black Washingtonians”, it added.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser noted the disparity on Tuesday, urging people to get vaccinated if they had not already done so.

“You’re putting yourself at risk and you’re putting the city at risk, because if this virus kicks up again, among unvaccinated communities, it could drive our numbers up and shut us down, and none of us wants that.”

The US Covid-19 vaccination program has gone from zero to 50 per cent in less than six months.

Till date, half of the country’s adults are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.