Statistics from Chicago health officials have underscored the heavy toll of coronavirus on black Americans.
Black Chicagoans account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up 30% of the population.
Other cities with large black populations, including Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New York, have become coronavirus hotspots.
The US has recorded nearly 370,000 virus cases and almost 11,000 deaths.
Globally there have been nearly 75,000 deaths and more than 1.3m cases total.
As of 5 April, 1,824 out of Chicago’s 4,680 confirmed Covid-19 cases were black residents, said city officials on Monday.That compared with 847 white, 478 Hispanic and 126 Asian Chicagoans.
Chicago has seen a total of 98 deaths as of Sunday, with 72% of them black residents.
The disparity is reflected across the state, where black people account for 41% of Covid-19 deaths, despite making up 14% of the population of Illinois.
Chicago public health commissioner Dr Allison Arwady told reporters that black city residents already lived on average about 8.8 years less than their white counterparts.
Mayor Lori Light foot said the coronavirus was “devastating black Chicago”.
She said city inspectors would be sent into shops to ensure everyone was adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Mayor Lightfoot also raised the possibility of curfews in areas where people gathered outside liquor stores
Detroit, Michigan, is about 80% black, and the city together with its surrounding suburbs accounts for around 80% of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Health officials have previously said the Big Easy’s residents suffer from rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension that are higher than the national average, making them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
Alderman Jason Ervin, who chairs Chicago council’s black caucus, told the Chicago Tribune that “rates of non-compliance in some parts of the city with the stay-at-home orders” might also be contributing to the statistics.(REUTERS)