Worrying rise in coronavirus cases across Wigan
Coronavirus cases are now rising in more than half of the areas across Wigan, official figures show.
Worrying new data reveals the number of infections increased in 22 of the 40 areas in the borough last week.
The largest rise was in Wigan East, where cases jumped by a massive 236.3 per cent, from 120.6 per 100,000 people to 405.6.
Infection rates also rose by more than double in Ashton-in-Makerfield East, which had 125 per cent more cases, while Astley, Blackmoor and Mosley Common saw a rise of 116.6 per cent.
Just shy of that marker was Wigan Marylebone and Bottling Wood, where there were 99.9 per cent more cases in the week ending March 3, compared to the week before.
There was better news in other areas though, with cases falling by 73.3 per cent in Wigan East and 61.1 per cent in Leigh North.
Wigan mirrors the national picture, with coronavirus cases rising in half of the UK’s council areas.
There were 260,691 positive cases in the UK in the week ending March 3, a two per cent increase on the week before.
Some 186 of the UK’s local authority areas (49 per cent) saw cases rise in the past week.
The figures include both positive PCR and lateral flow tests, and include people infected with Covid-19 for the first time as well as reinfections.
The lifting of many restrictions, waning effectiveness of boosters and the spread of the highly contagious BA.2 “stealth omicron” variant have all been touted as potential reasons for rising infection rates.
People who test positive with coronavirus are no longer legally required to isolate - though people are still advised to do so.
Prof Kate Ardern, Wigan’s director of public health, described the rising number of cases as “worrying” but also “completely expected” due to the Government lifting restrictions such as isolating and wearing masks.
She said: “The key message is that Covid is very definitely still here. I think what we are seeing is people dropping their guard in terms of wearing face marks in enclosed public spaces, keeping windows open, hand washing and sanitising. They really need to think about doing that.
“It’s about being kind to each other and recognising this virus is still very much with us.”