A new study has found that the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in London boasts one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the world with 64%, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
This figure is nine times higher than the average British infection rate which stands at about seven percent and is, reportedly, “among the highest reported anywhere in the world,” the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.
The research used samples from around 15,000 members of the 23,000-strong strictly Orthodox Jewish community in London.
According to the BBC, the study took place over the course of December, before another wave of infections swept the UK, meaning that current figures might be even higher.
The reasons behind these staggering numbers remain unclear, the researchers noted. However, Dr. Rosalind Eggo, the study's co-author, said that religious and ethnic minority groups have been at higher risk of infection at all stages of the pandemic.
While higher population density and poverty among the capital’s ultra-Orthodox community may account for some of the excessive morbidity, Jewish men in Britain are still twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than their Christian counterparts — even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors.
The average ultra-Orthodox family counts between five and six individuals compared to the UK’s average of 2.3.
Reprinted courtesy of i24NEWS