Andy Burnham spoke to Sky News on Saturday as six areas of Greater Manchester feature in Public Health England’s “Watch list” places where the number of coronavirus case is cause for concern.
Mr Burnham said a report shows the testing and tracing system only reaches half of people who have been in contact with someone infected with coronavirus in the 20 worst-affected regions of the country.
He added, “And the question you have to ask yourself is, why is it so low in the places where we need it to be highest?
“And I would say one of the reasons is that the people in these places, the poorest communities in the country – they just can’t afford to isolate themselves when asked to do so by the NHS Test and Trace because they won’t. paid.
“Or worse, they will fear losing their jobs. And this is the problem the government must correct. ”
Mr Burnham added that it is’ not fair for the government to threaten these places with a lockdown, when they are not doing some of the basic things that could be done to help these communities manage the spread. of this virus ”.
The mayor also said that many people had not participated in the leave program and had worked throughout the lockdown in places with the highest virus rates.
Mr Burnham added that “there are millions of poorly paid people in our country who cannot afford to do what the government asks them to do.”
He continued, “I’m calling for a system like juror service, where if the government asks you to do something, you should have your salary covered and you should be able to do it immediately.
“I don’t see how we’re going to spend this winter safely until this flaw is corrected. ”
Oldham Council, the worst-affected part of the country according to PHE’s watchlist, has enlisted Pakistan’s national cricket captain to encourage local residents to follow the latest coronavirus guidelines.
Strict new social distancing measures have been introduced in the city of Greater Manchester after a spike in coronavirus case.
Azhar Ali’s post comes nearly two weeks after local authorities recruited Inbetweeners star James Buckley to share advice on the coronavirus after an increase in cases.
Ali, who leads Pakistan in their test series against England in Southampton this weekend, said in a video shared from Oldham Council’s Twitter account: “I am here with a very important message.
“The last few months have been very hard for all of us.
“We couldn’t see our loved ones, do things we enjoy and celebrate special occasions together.
“But we have to keep our cool and stick to COVID restrictions if we are to stay safe.
“The best way to stop the spread is to limit contact with other people. “
Ali, a right-handed drummer, then tells Oldham residents not to have visitors to their home and “if you need to meet people outside your home, please do so outside”.
The cricketer also encourages people to maintain their social estrangement and to wear a mask when visiting stores and while on public transport.
Ali says residents “showing symptoms should self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.”
He concludes his message by saying, “If everyone does their part, together we can protect ourselves, our friends and families and the community at large.
“By coming together now, we can be back earlier to do the things we love. ”
Ali, a right-handed batsman, was speaking ahead of the test series against England, which is now underway.
Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have managed to escape full local lockdowns, but strict new social distancing measures have been introduced following a spike in coronavirus cases.
Different households can no longer meet in the three zones in any setting, including in parks and beer gardens.
The changes took effect at midnight.
According to the watch list, the region is the most affected coronavirus hotspots in England.