The latest Covid infection rates for Greater Manchester as rate in Bolton climbs to 15 times the national average

The coronavirus infection rate in Bolton is now more than 15 times the national average, the latest data shows.

The latest Public Health England figures show the transmission rate in the borough now stands at 319.9 per 100,000 people.

The national average for England is 21.1.

The recent increase in cases in Bolton is thought to have been driven by the B.1.617.2 strain of the virus, often called the Indian variant.

Over the past week, a number of pop-up vaccination centres have opened in areas with the highest infection rates and more than 6,000 people were vaccinated over last weekend.

But there is currently no sign of the infection rate dropping.

Bolton council leader David Greenhalgh today told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that another local lockdown would be ‘very difficult to manage’.

The latest data shows there were 920 positive Covid-19 tests in the borough in the week ending May 15 – 456 more than the previous week.

The infection rate in Bolton is up slightly compared with the previous day and the week-on-week trend is up by 98 per cent.

The coronavirus infection rates on May 19 in Greater Manchester

Rates have risen in other areas across Greater Manchester, though all other boroughs have transmission rates below 50 per 100,000.

The trend is up in Trafford, where there were 88 positive Covid-19 tests in the week ending May 15.

This is 24 more than the week and is up by 38 per cent compared to the previous week.

The latest infection rate is 37.1.

There were 250 positive tests over the last week in Manchester, which is 45 more than in the previous week.

People queuing for Covid vaccinations at the ESSA academy in Bolton

The week-on-week trend is up by 22 per cent and the latest infection rate is 45.2.

In Rochdale, the latest infection rate is 39.6 and the number of cases has gone down by 13 per cent.

A total of 88 people tested positive for Covid which is 13 fewer than the week before.

In Tameside, the number of cases is up by three per cent compared to the previous week – leaving the infection rate at 26.9.

There were 61 positive tests in the week ending May 15, which was two more than the previous week.

There was a rise of 16 per cent in cases in Stockport over the week ending May 15, and the infection rate is now 32.

People leave a mobile vaccination bus after receiving their Covid-19 vaccines at the ESSA academy in Bolton

The borough recorded 94 positive Covid-19 tests over the seven-day period, and that is 13 more than the previous week.

Bury recorded 73 coronavirus cases, which is 36 more than in the previous seven days.

The latest infection rate is 38.2 cases per 100,000 – up 97 per cent week-on-week.

Wigan saw a total of 112 cases which is 26 more than the previous week and a rise of 30 per cent.

The most recent coronavirus infection rate is now 34.1.

Salford is an area where the trend is down. The latest infection rate here is 25.9.

There were 67 cases recorded which is 11 fewer than the previous week – a fall of 14 per cent.

Oldham, which has the lowest infection rate in the region, recorded 42 positive Covid-19 tests – 19 fewer than the previous week.

The infection rate in Oldham is now 17.7 and is down by 31 per cent week-on-week.

In Greater Manchester as a whole, the infection rate now stands at 63.3 per 100,000.

A total of 1,795 people tested positive for coronavirus across the region in the week ending May 15.

A sign stands on the pavement next to the Quebec Hall rapid response mass vaccination centre in Bolton

The weekly total has increased by 559 cases compared to the previous week, which means the infection rate was up 45 per cent in the last week.

Professor Jonathan Van Tam today urged residents in Bolton to ‘be very cautious’.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said people should ‘think very carefully about the freedoms they have’ and ‘weigh up the risks’ for themselves.

Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing this evening (Wednesday), he said: “The areas that have been mentioned today in the press briefing, including Bolton are absolutely areas of concern for now.

“And I would advise the residents in those areas to think very carefully about the freedoms they have, weigh up the risks and be very cautious.

“So if it possible to do something outside, better to do it outside.

The queue at a surge vaccination centre in Bolton
People queuing for vaccinations in Bolton, where rates have rocketed

“If it is possible to do something with smaller numbers, with people you know rather than numerous contacts, it’s better to do that.

“Take it steady, I think I’ve said ‘don’t tear the pants out of it once before’, we’re back to that again.

“The government has given people freedoms to make these judgements for themselves and I understand that we can’t live for years and years on end with rules, people will have to learn to manage these risks for themselves.”

He urged people to take a test if they don’t feel well, and to take up the vaccine when offered it.

Matt Hancock also urged people to get the jab in areas with rising positive cases.

Bolton town centre

The Health Secretary told the press conference that ‘the majority’ of people in hospital with coronavirus in Bolton have not had the vaccine.

He said there are currently 25 people in hospital in the borough with Covid.

Of these patients, 90 per cent have not been fully vaccinated.

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