In just one week the number of new coronavirus cases across the North West has skyrocketed by nearly 30,000.
Public Health England data, analysed by LancsLive, shows that on October 2 the combined figure in Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire stood at 88,284 since the start of the pandemic.
Seven days later, that figure now stands at 116,646 – a massive 32% increase after 28,362 cases.
Such an alarming surge in new infections has now put the region at risk of stricter lockdown measures which could last until April.
The Government is expected to announce the changes to lockdown on Monday and comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak today unveiled a support package for workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close under the new coronavirus restrictions.
Since last Friday, the number of positive Covid-19 tests in Lancashire has risen by 4,773.
There have also been 3,642 new cases in Liverpool, 3,629 in Manchester, 640 in Cumbria and 1,317 in Cheshire.
Many areas in the North West are now in the top 20 for infection rates in England, with Knowsley second, Liverpool third, Manchester fourth, Burnley sixth, Sefton ninth, Rochdale eleventh, St Helens, twelfth, Halton thirteenth, Salford fourteenth, Oldham sixteenth, Pendle seventeenth, Hyndburn eighteenth, Trafford nineteenth and Preston twentieth.
A total of 19 local authorities across the region now have infection rates above 300 – more than double the England average.
These were the number of coronavirus cases in the North West on October 2:
There are 17,411 cases in Lancashire; 4,936 in Bolton; 2,749 in Bury; 3,015 in Cheshire East; 2,796 in Cheshire West and Chester; 3,624 in Cumbria; 1,530 in Halton; 2,228 in Knowsley; 6,725 in Liverpool; 8,224 in Manchester; 4,353 in Oldham; 3,528 in Rochdale; 3,231 in Salford; 3,039 in Sefton; 2,327 in St Helens; 2,840 in Stockport; 3,113 in Tameside; 2,473 in Trafford; 2,518 in Warrington; 3,633 in Wigan; and 3,991 in Wirral.
These are the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus by North West borough as of today (October 9):
There are 21,708 cases in Lancashire, 5,889 in Bolton, 3,452 in Bury, 3,655 in Cheshire East, 3,374 in Cheshire West and Chester, 4,153 in Cumbria, 2,052 in Halton, 3,308 in Knowsley, 10,035 in Liverpool, 11,619 in Manchester, 5,241 in Oldham, 4,434 in Rochdale, 4,257 in Salford, 4,238 in Sefton, 3,075 in St Helens, 3,683 in Stockport, 3,816 in Tameside, 3,289 in Trafford, 3,218 in Warrington, 4,733 in Wigan and 4,949 in Wirral.
People in charge of pubs in England have criticised Rishi Sunak’s expanded job support scheme, saying their industry needs more financial help.
Workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions will have two-thirds of their wages paid by the Government, the Chancellor announced.
It comes ahead of the expected closure next week of hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots and follows intense pressure on the Government for a targeted extension of the furlough scheme.
Ministers will also increase cash grants to businesses in England which are forced to close to support with fixed costs – but, for some, the new measures have done little to assuage their fears.
“No, it’s not enough, definitely not enough, it doesn’t even touch the sides,” said Mel Green, 41, manager of The Black Bull in Otley, West Yorkshire. “I think there needs to be more financial support.
“£2,000 every four weeks isn’t going to cut it. Two-thirds of somebody’s wage isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to remember that we’re in a trade where everyone’s on national minimum wage pretty much.
“They’re the ones that are losing out. A lot of them are living hand to mouth already and they’ve already had hours reduced.”
Britain’s nightclubs have cautiously welcomed the Government’s decision to include them in the latest coronavirus support package but fear it will not be enough to save the sector from collapse.
Nightclubs are one of the few areas of the economy that have not yet been allowed to reopen in any capacity since lockdown was first imposed in late March.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said it “tentatively welcomed” the announcement, but warned thousands of venues have been left hanging by a thread.
It said many people within the industry were in a state of “desperation and despair” as they face financial ruin, and said the extra funding was “too little, too late”.
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