New town becomes worst-hit in England as 3 more places added to coronavirus watchlist

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    Greater Manchester went into a second lockdown at the end of the last month following a rise in new coronavirus cases. Over the last seven days, the English town Oldham has recorded 145 new cases.

    According to Government figures, this means there are 61 new cases per 100,000 people in the local area making it the highest current rate in England.

    Oldham has surpassed the likes of Blackburn with Darwen and Leicester, which became the first regional lockdown area in the UK.

    Unlike other regions, Leicester was not allowed to reopen pubs and restaurants from July 4 due to the number of new cases.

    After Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have around 58.6 and 43 cases per 100,000 people respectively.

    This comes after Preston, Swindon and Bradford were all added to the coronavirus watchlist on Friday.

    Other areas include Tameside, Northampton and Calderdale.

    In Preston, the rate of new COVID-19 cases rose from 20.3 per 100,000 people in the week ending July 27 to 32.8 in the week ending August 3.

    There are currently 29 local authorities with labels ranging from ‘concern’ to ‘intervention’.

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    Although Greater Manchester, as well as East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, had new restrictions imposed, there was confusion over the measures.

    Despite the Government banning people mixing with other households from outside their social bubble, pubs, restaurants and other non-essential businesses remained open.

    Earlier this month, new lockdown laws came into effect and could see people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they failed to follow them.

    The new legislation places restrictions on areas such as Bolto, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Calderdale and Kirklees.

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    Last month, urgent new measures have been put in place to counter coronavirus cases in Northampton.

    A statement from the county’s Local Resilience Forum said at the time: “The rate of infection is increasing and the amount of positive tests are also increasing within the borough.

    “This increase in the infection rate means that we need to take action now to prevent further spread of the virus and potential local lockdown measures.”

    Other measures include avoiding car-sharing and meeting anyone from outside family households or bubbles in indoor spaces.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given local authorities in England new powers to tackle coronavirus outbreaks.

    Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “At the start of the pandemic, we knew far less about the spread of the virus and we had to take blanket national measures.

    “National lockdown was undoubtedly the right thing to do and has saved many thousands of lives.

    “Now, however, we know more about the virus, we understand the epidemiology better and our intelligence about where it is spreading is vastly improved.

    “That means we can control it through targeted local action instead.”

    The UK has the highest death rate in Europe after surpassing 46,000 and fears of an upcoming second wave of the deadly virus have been raised.



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