Lifting lockdown restrictions in Wigan ‘impossible’ as spike can occur at any time, says Andy Burnham


Andy Burnham says it would be “impossible” to lift the tighter lockdown restrictions in Wigan despite the lowest infection rate in the borough of Greater Manchester. Local lawmakers urged the government to reconsider its decision to impose further measures on the borough, but the region’s mayor has warned that a peak could occur at any time.

In the week ending August 1, there were 7.3 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in Wigan, which is slightly higher than the week before, but still the lowest in Greater Manchester.

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But recently released data shows that at the height of the pandemic in mid-April, the borough had the highest number of cases in the region with 120 per 100,000 residents.

Mr Burnham said at a press conference on Wednesday: ‘It shows you that it can happen at any time, and it would have been much higher if the tests had been further advanced.

Newly released data using pillars 1 and 2 shows the borough of Wigan had the largest peak in Covid-19 cases at the end of April

“The virus is now endemic in all the districts. Wigan is close to other boroughs where the number of positive cases is currently high.

“As the virus is bubbling below the surface, it doesn’t take much for that spike to come back up.”

Mr Burnham warned there was always the risk that Wigan could end up in a similar situation to Trafford, where cases went from 8.8 to 36.2 per 100,000 in two weeks.

Over the past week, several outbreaks of Covid-19 have also been reported at workplaces involving staff living in different parts of Greater Manchester.

“I think it’s impossible to start separating a borough and separating boroughs because Greater Manchester is an interconnected place,” said Mr Burnham.

“We do not all live our life completely in the same arrondissement.

“If you look at the numbers from Trafford, it tells you it’s right that we have a situation where all the boroughs in Greater Manchester are working together.

“If we were to start adopting different rules for different boroughs, we could further confuse what has been a difficult message.


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