NHS and council leaders have called for health equality to be written into any recovery plan after a report showed black and minority ethnic people are far more likely to die of coronavirus.

A meeting of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Board heard that black people are twice as likely to die of Covid-19 than white people while men and women from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds are 1.8 and 1.6 times more likely to die.

A Public Health England study which looked at the risk factors for coronavirus found those from poorer backgrounds, men and anyone who is obese or suffering from diabetes also had a much higher risk.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the evidence showed that coronavirus targets people in an "unequal and disproportionate way" and promised further work to find out how much of the disproportionate number of deaths among BAME communities was down to factors like their occupation, housing or other issues.

Board chief executive Rob Webster said: "The report shone a light on the inequalities that exist in society, the structural inequalities and the systemic issues that affect different populations.

"It highlighted that we don't collect enough data on ethnicity and don't think about the impact on our ethnic communities and we must do more."

He said: "We have maintained a focus on ensuring that we understand the differential impact on different communities. Men, frail older people, those with multiple morbidities and our Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are more impacted by the disease in the deaths data."

He also highlighted the fact that the regional infection 'r' rate was one of the highest in the country and 46% of care homes had reported an outbreak.

He said: "We need to be particularly stringent here as the 'r' rate is among the highest in the country.

"We've made good progress on care homes but there's much more to do."

He also pointed out that there had not appeared to be an increase in suicides or self-harming during the Covid-19 crisis.

As part of the next phase in the crisis as the district emerges from lockdown, the meeting heard that the board was looking at understanding the wider impact on different groups of people, including BAME communities, older people, people with learning disabilities and/or mental health concerns and other vulnerable people.

A report on maintaining services in the future said: "The economic impact of Covid-19 and immediate response will widen health inequalities.

"Our approaches to recovery must drive a reduction in inequality not exacerbate it, supporting our existing ambitions on this. We should focus on specific areas of inequality such as BAME people."

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: "Health inequalities is the biggest signal to come out of Covid so far in that people with health inequalities are more likely to die of Covid but we could always have known that because they are more likely to die of any disease.

"We need to do something about it very quickly. Any transformation money that's coming can we make sure that addresses health inequalities?"

Mr Webster said that it was not yet clear whether there would be any more transformation funding but members of the board had £5.8 billion in combined budgets which could be used to help health inequalities.

On the higher death rate for BAME people, he added: "There's something else going on over and above issues around deprivation and age and some commentators say it's the stress that people feel living in a white-dominated society."