The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the North West has risen to more than 56,000 as 12 regional boroughs are now on ‘red alert’ status.
The total number of positive cases across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cumbria, and Cheshire now stands at 56,269.
The latest Public Health England data on coronavirus infection rates shows an increase in 12 out of 14 Lancashire boroughs and every Greater Manchester borough except Trafford.
Eight out of the top 10 highest infection rates in England are in the North West with Bolton top, Blackburn with Darwen third, Oldham fourth, Salford sixth, Rochdale seventh, Burnley eighth, Rossendale ninths and Preston tenth on the list.
Pendle, Manchester, Tameside and Bury also make up the top 15 with all boroughs classes as ‘red alert’ areas as their infection rates are above 50 per 100,000 people.
There are no Cumbria, Cheshire or Merseyside boroughs in the top 20 list or classed as ‘red alert’ infection status.
The area managed by Lancashire County Council now has 8,642 positive tests of the virus. In Blackpool there are 1,127 while in Blackburn with Darwen the number has risen to 1,936.
Preston recorded the biggest increase in the county with 28 new cases. A total of 131 cases were recorded across all 14 Lancashire boroughs since yesterday while Cumbria’s tally rose to 3,090 after all six districts announced new cases.
The data is based on people being tested both through ‘Pillar 1’ – in hospitals – and Pillar 2 – drive-through test centres and swabs sent by post.
No figures have been released showing how many tests have been carried out in each area.
Total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus by North West borough as of Friday, August 28:
There are 11,705 cases in Lancashire, 2,740 in Bolton, 1,693 in Bury, 2468 in Cheshire East, 2,201 in Cheshire West and Chester, 3,090 in Cumbria, 771 in Halton, 1,134 in Knowsley, 3,080 in Liverpool, 4,634 in Manchester, 3,070 in Oldham, 2,404 in Rochdale, 1,989 in Salford, 1,775 in Sefton, 1,335 in St Helens, 2,049 in Stockport, 2,075 in Tameside, 1,769 in Trafford, 1,501 in Warrington, 2,415 in Wigan and 2,371 in Wirral
It comes after nearly 3,000 new cases were detected in the previous 24 hours, as the government grapples with ways of preventing a second wave.
Earlier today a further five hospital deaths were reported. There were four in England, including two at Blackpool hospitals trust.
The latest figures include those who died in other settings, including care homes and private addresses.
A month ago, on August 7, there were 98 deaths reported, while two months ago that stood at 155.
On June 7 the daily rise was 77, on May 7 it was 539, and 786 deaths were reported on April 7.
Coronavirus cases are continuing to increase rapidly across the North of England and Midlands, today’s NHS data shows.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning said the surge in Covid-19 cases was worst in affluent young people, aged between 17 and 21.
But Downing Street insisted the phased return of universities this month should go ahead.
Asked if plans to reopen higher education should go ahead, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “Yes, they should.
“What we’re doing is discussing with universities how to make sure that they are as safe as possible for students and staff and how to respond in the event of an outbreak in or near a university.”
And the spokesman indicated universities could be ordered to close as part of local lockdown restrictions.
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