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The most common professions of people who have died after contracting coronavirus in England and Wales have been revealed for the first time.
People working in social care, including care workers and home carers, have “significantly” higher death rates involving Covid-19 than the working population as a whole, new analysis suggests.
The figures have been calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), based on deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales registered up to April 20.
For male social care workers in England and Wales, the rate of death involving Covid-19 is estimated to be 23.4 deaths per 100,000 males, while for female social care workers the figure is 9.6.
Men working as security guards had one of the highest rates, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000 (63 deaths). Among men, a number of other specific occupations were found to have raised rates of death involving Covid-19, including: taxi drivers and chauffeurs (36.4 deaths per 100,000); bus and coach drivers (26.4 deaths per 100,000); chefs (35.9 deaths per 100,000); and sales and retail assistants (19.8 deaths per 100,000).
By contrast, for all males of working age (20 to 64 years old), the rate of death involving Covid-19 is 9.9 deaths per 100,000, with 5.2 deaths per 100,000 females.
But perhaps surprisingly, healthcare workers, including those with jobs such as doctors and nurses, were not found to have higher rates of death involving the virus compared to the general population.
For female workers, the ONS did not identify any specific jobs with raised rates of death involving Covid-19, instead highlighting only one broad group where the Covid-19 mortality rate was significantly higher than the equivalent rate among women of the same age in the general population: caring, leisure and other service occupations.
The ONS said its analysis “does not prove conclusively that the observed rates of death involving Covid-19 are necessarily caused by differences in occupational exposure”. Figures had been adjusted for age, but not for other factors such as ethnic group and place of residence.
The findings could change as more deaths are registered, the ONS added.
As of Sunday, it was reported that 31,855 people had died in UK hospitals after contracting coronavirus.
ONS weekly death registrations up to April 24 have shown that most deaths involving Covid-19 were among people aged 65 and over (24,009 out of 27,356) with 43% (10,410) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.
The provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an issue of concern since the outbreak began, with some frontline NHS workers and care home staff still struggling to source sufficient levels of PPE.