Male security guards at highest risk of dying from COVID-19: ONS

UK statistics office says men working in lowest skilled occupations face highest rates of death involving coronavirus.

Security guard UK
A security guard wears a surgical mask as he assists a car at a coronavirus drive-through test centre at Parson's Green Medical Centre in London, UK, March 5, 2020 [Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Male security guards working in the United Kingdom are at significant risk of dying from the new coronavirus, according to the UK’s statistics office.

“Men working as security guards had one of the highest rates, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000,” the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Monday. 

“Compared with the rate among people of the same sex and age in England and Wales, men working in the lowest skilled occupations had the highest rate of death involving COVID-19, with 21.4 deaths per 100,000 males.” 

Until April 20, at least 2,494 deaths were registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus in the working-age population – people aged between 20 and 64.

Almost two-thirds of those deaths were among men, ONS said.

Male taxi drivers and chauffeurs were also at a high risk – with a rate of 36.4 deaths for every 100,000; followed by chefs, bus and coach drivers and social care workers – the latter with a rate of 26.4 deaths for every 100,000.

Female social care workers were also at risk – but with a lower rate of 9.6 deaths for every 100,000.

The ONS data follows an announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday on plans to start easing the coronavirus lockdown in the UK from Wednesday.

He advised construction workers to return to work but said people should avoid taking public transport where possible, and instead use a car.

Johnson’s announcement caused some confusion among Britons, who questioned what they would be allowed to do in terms of travelling to work and social distancing.

Johnson is expected to clarify his statements later on Monday before taking questions from the public.

The UK is Europe’s worst-affected country – and the world’s second-worst hit after the United States – in terms of deaths relating to coronavirus.

To date, about 32,000 people have died from the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 220,000. 

On Thursday, the ONS reported that Black people in the UK were more than four times as likely to die from coronavirus than white people.

Security guard uk
A group of security guards is joined by a member of the British army outside the ExCel centre, which was being turned into a 4,000-bed temporary hospital called NHS Nightingale to deal with coronavirus patients in London, Monday, March 30, 2020 [Matt Dunham/The Associated Press]
Source: Al Jazeera