According to a new report, South Asians were among the racial and ethnic groups hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic in New York City. At 30.8 percent, South Asian Americans had the second-highest rate of test positivity, after Hispanics, and at 54.7 percent, had the second-highest rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations, after Black people, between March and May. (South Asian death rates were lower than for whites and Asian Americans as a whole.)
The study was posted on medRxiv, a “preprint service” that distributes unpublished medical papers before they’ve been peer reviewed. The study is the first of its kind to offer some disaggregated data on Asian American Covid-19 patients. The analysis examined more than 85,000 patients who sought care in the New York City Health and Hospitals system — the largest public health care system in the United States — and used last name databases and language information to disaggregate, or separate data, about the city’s two largest Asian American subgroups, South Asian and Chinese.
The results also show that while Chinese New Yorkers had lower test positivity and hospitalization rates than South Asians, they had the highest mortality rate of all racial and ethnic groups. Chinese New Yorkers had a mortality rate of 35.7 percent, compared to 25.5 percent for all Asian Americans and 23.7 percent for Black New Yorkers. They were also about 1.5 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white patients.