The “worrying figures” suggest that a region of Cumbria has the highest rate of coronavirus infection in England.
New published data has shown that Barrow has been affected worse than more than 300 other regions of the country for virus cases.
And Carlisle and Copeland are also high on the table.
Barrow ranks just ahead of Lancaster and South Lakeland for positive tests for Covid-19 per 100,000 people, according to figures released by Public Health England.
A total of 540 people in the borough tested positive for coronavirus, a rate of 804.3 per 100,000 – more than 50 percent more than anywhere else in the country.
Another Cumbrian council, Carlisle, is in 10th place (397 cases / 100,000), while Copeland is not too far behind (374).
In light of the revelations, community leaders reiterated the message of staying at home to facilitate the spread of the infection.
Barrow Council Health Councilor Iain Mooney said: “The numbers are very concerning and leave more questions than answers.
“The fact that these figures come from postal code data rather than from the surrounding area is also alarming.
“This directly suggests that we have the highest infection rate only in Barrow.
“Our testing facilities for healthcare workers in the NHS have been excellent here and have gained national fame.
“Unfortunately, other sectors and industries in our city are still missing.
“We are still seeing tests below the government target and are struggling to provide adequate PPE.
“Now is not the time to guess, we urgently need to investigate these results and questions must be asked.
“I urge everyone to always follow the directions and stay safe.”
However, an experienced doctor said it was too early to draw conclusions from the data.
Barrow GP Geoff Jolliffe, clinical president of the Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, said it was too early to read the numbers.
Dr. Jolliffe said, “Barrow is at the top now, but I expect that to change.
“We may have reached the top sooner than in other places.
“This is the beginning and I cannot say why Barrow is the highest right now.
“We will not know the real picture for months. “
“But the real message is that there are a lot of viruses in Barrow, so don’t relax on the rules.
“Just follow the advice, it’s the people who cheat who will spread the virus. “
Despite the high infection rate, the county did not see the “worst case scenario” expected by the health chiefs.
For example, the Covid-19 recovery center built by the military at the Furness Academy has yet to see its first patient.
Dr. Jolliffe said the center was built because of the distance between Barrow and the major cities.
“The center was designed for the worst case.
“Local health services are doing well,” he said.
Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell also called for caution.
“This is clearly a disturbing trend,” he said,
“But the main thing is not to draw hasty conclusions.
“It is simply too early to really understand the significance of this data.
“We are ahead of the national curve, because we had the first cases here.
“We have also tested more tests, so we will have detected more cases compared to other areas.
“We also have a high population density and an aging population.
“All of these factors are factors, but we are currently comparing apples to oranges.
“The bottom line is that our local NHS is coping and doing a great job.
“And beyond that, it shows why we have to follow the rules of this holiday to keep this infection rate low, protect the NHS and save lives.” “
“The local response to the crisis has been well planned and is working.”