Wiganers urged to follow rules as rate of new Covid-19 cases reaches three figures

The council's weekly coronavirus tracker says there are now 101.9 cases per 100,000 residents in the borough.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 1:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th September 2020, 2:03 pm

Infection rates have grown rapidly across Greater Manchester in recent weeks, with neighbouring Bolton at 209 cases per 100,000 people.

Wigan's rate of new cases remains among the lowest in Greater Manchester but has still gone up significantly in a short space of time.

That has now led the council's director of public health Professor Kate Ardern to issue a fresh plea to residents to make sure they follow the rules as the authorities try to control the surging infection rates.

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The town hall's Covid-19 tracker shows there were 335 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the borough between September 13 and September 19.

Shockingly, only Trafford and Stockport of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester had a rate per 100,000 people below 100 for that seven-day period.

And while case rates remain much lower in neighbouring West Lancashire and Chorley they are higher than Wigan in both St Helens and Warrington, at 111.3 and 107.6 respectively.

Wigan is now on red alert for new cases and the borough is also on the list of areas of concern on the national escalation framework.

A local escalation plan has also been rolled out and Prof Ardern explained the work being done locally while also urging residents to do everything they can to abide by the guidelines designed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

She said: "As Wigan borough's new infections rate has now surpassed 100 cases per 100,000 people, I urge the public to continue supporting our efforts to contain the virus by strictly following government guidance.

"Our teams are closely monitoring the infection locally and we have reopened the testing centre on Chapel Lane for key worker appointments so we can trace effectively.

"Our robust plan to minimise transmission is under way through supporting those in self-isolation, working with communities, targeting messages in areas where infection is higher and enforcement action against individuals who flout the rules.

"But we need your help too. The announcement from the Prime Minister demonstrates a national need to comply with the rules.

"Coronavirus has not gone away. Be kind, be responsible and follow the three W's: wash hands, wear a mask and watch space."

One glimmer of hope is that so far the surging case numbers have not been linked to fatalities, with no Covid-related deaths registered in the borough in the most recent week.

The council's tracker also breaks down case numbers by ward to show where the borough's coronavirus hotspots are.

Lowton East and Leigh West have had the most confirmed cases in the latest week running between September 12 and September 18, with 30 and 20 cases respectively.

There were 19 cases in Wigan West, 17 in Atherleigh, 16 in Aspull New Springs and Whelley, 15 in Winstanley and Ashton and 14 in Astley Mosley Common.

Of the 25 wards in the borough 19 saw a rise in cases in the latest week compared to the previous one.

The North West R number, which refers to whether an infection outbreak is getting bigger or not, has also risen, with the current figure given as between 1.2 and 1.5.

Overall since the Covid-19 pandemic started there have been 2,954 confirmed cases in Wigan borough, a rate of 899 per 100,000 population. This is the third-lowest proportional figure in Greater Manchester and below the rates for both the city-region as a whole and the North West.