Greater Manchester has new coronavirus hotspot as infection rates continue to rise

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Atherton South West has become Greater Manchester’s new coronavirus hotspot. Figures from Public Health England show 78 positive cases were recorded in the region, near Wigan, during the week ending October 21.

With an infection rate of 961.2 cases per 100,000 population, it is the most affected area in the region over the seven-day period.

The second highest rate was recorded at Astley Bridge & Waters Meeting, in Bolton, where 84 people tested positive at a rate of 958 per 100,000.



Areas of Greater Manchester with the highest infection rates in the week ending October 21

Meanwhile, there have been 89 new cases in Worsley, Salford, giving the area an infection rate of 920 per 100,000 people.

The number of infections in Atherton South West, which is roughly the same area as Atherleigh’s council district, has been rising steadily for four consecutive weeks.

51 cases were recorded in the week to October 14, compared to 33 the previous seven days.

It is not yet clear why the spike in infections in the area has been so large.

In contrast, only 44 samples returned positive in the neighboring region of Atherton North over the weekend of October 21, at a rate of 499 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The latest coronavirus infection rate for the district of Wigan stands at 561.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, almost three times the national average.

When Greater Manchester was first subject to local restrictions on July 31, Wigan had a 7-day coronavirus infection rate of less than 10 cases per 100,000, lower than the national average.

Local leaders have successfully argued that Wigan should be released from restrictions as rates remained the lowest in Greater Manchester for most of August.

But the rate has continued to climb since mid-September and has led Wigan, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, to come under Level 3 restrictions.

Separate data released by the NHS shows there has been an increase in the number of hospitalized patients dying with Covid-19 at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust in recent weeks.

NHS statistics last week showed there were no coronavirus deaths at the Trust in the three months between July 2 and October 2, but so far this month the Trust has reported 41 deaths from Covid-19.

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