Health secretary Matt Hancock announces more Covid-19 help for Wigan

Further assistance to contain the spread of the Delta variant is being rolled out across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 2:33 pm

Mr Hancock told the House of Commons on Tuesday morning that " a strengthened package of support" was being given to all of Greater Manchester based on the extra assistance that has recently been given to Bolton.

There will be extra testing and support from the military as well as more help for schools, the health secretary told MPs.

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Health secretary Matt Hancock

Mr Hancock said: "We're providing a strengthened package of support based on what is working in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant we are seeing.

"This includes rapid response teams, putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing.

"I want to encourage everyone in Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer. We know that this approach can work. We've seen it work in South London and in Bolton in controlling a rise in the number of cases.

"This is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Manchester and Lancashire."

The Government's coronavirus advice page is also advising residents in areas most affected by the Delta variant, which includes Wigan, to minimise travel in and out of the area as well as suggesting people should meet outdoors as much as possible.

Mr Hancock also said in the House of Commons that it was vital people come forward to get vaccinated when they are invited to book an appointment.

He said: "That is our way out of this pandemic together.”

While Covid-19 case numbers have risen in Wigan to more than 100 per 100,000 residents, sources at the borough's hospital trust have told Wigan Today that there has not been an increase in admissions.

On the announcement made by Mr Hancock on increased support in Manchester and Lancashire, the prime minister’s official spokesman said on Tuesday: “We want to provide the package of support that has been effective in Bolton to a wider area … to tackle the cases of the Delta variant.”

In response to the support package, Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: "Across Wigan borough we have unfortunately seen an increase in cases over recent weeks coinciding with surges in neighbouring areas and other parts of the North West.

"We welcome the additional support announced today and we hope to see an improvement in our figures as soon as possible.

"Throughout the pandemic we have been urging residents to be kind and take personal responsibility to help keep themselves and loved ones safe, and continue to do so.

"Coronavirus has not gone away. Please follow the public health guidance, book a vaccination when invited to and remember the three Ws: wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a face mask when required."

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