Bolton’s coronavirus rate has gone above 100 as urgent surge testing for mutant variants of the virus is carried out.
The number of cases in the borough has gone up by a dramatic 70 percent week-on-week, the latest figures show.
It means the infection rate, the number of cases per 100,000 of population is now into three figures at 100.4, nearly five times the national average.
Surge testing has this week been escalated in parts of Bolton due to concerns over a rapid rise in cases.
Cases of both the South Africa and India variants have been discovered in the borough and new testing units have been set up, starting on Wednesday in areas including Great Lever, Deane and Rumworth.
Whilst health officials are also going ‘door-to-door’ in some harder-to-reach communities.
The spread of the Indian variant, now officially designated as a ‘variant of concern’ is said to be of particular worry for local officials.
The latest Public Health England figures show there were 288 positive Covid-19 tests in the week ending Tuesday May 4, which is 119 more than the previous seven days.
The rate is up slightly compared with the previous day and the week-on-week trend is up by 70 percent.
That is double the next biggest weekly rise seen in the region.
The case numbers do not reveal or include details about variants, but the rise in cases clearly indicates why there is currently such concern about the high number of cases in the borough.
Especially as the latest data, is for the week ending May 4, won’t include the results of the increased testing which began in the middle of this week.
Elsewhere, there is a mixed picture, with infection rates rising in five and falling in five of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs, nine of which now have rates higher than the national average.
Stockport has also seen a steep week-on-week rise of more than a third.
The borough saw a total of 82 cases in the week ending May 4, 21 more than the previous week.
That is a rise of 34 percent and leaves its rate at 27.9.
In Rochdale, a total of 85 people tested positive for Covid over the seven days, 13 more than the week before, and a rise of 18pc.
There were however also significant decreases in some other boroughs.
There were 79 positive Covid-19 tests in Wigan in the week ending May 4, nine more than the previous seven days, up by 13 percent. and leaving the infection rate at 24.
Tameside and Oldham have both seen case numbers go down by over a quarter week-on-week.
Tameside, which has the lowest infection rate in the region at 20.3, recorded 46 positive Covid-19 tests in the week ending May 4, 16 fewer than the previous seven days, down 26 percent. It is now the only borough to have a rate below the national average
There was a fall of 26 percent in cases in Oldham which recorded 64 positive Covid-19 tests over the seven-day period, 23 fewer than the previous week.
The trend is down in Salford, where there were 87 positive tests in the last seven days, 14 fewer than the previous seven.
The latest infection rate in Salford is 33.6.
The latest infection rate in Manchester is 34.9 cases per 100,000, up by one percent week-on-week.
The week-on-week trend in Trafford is also down by one per cent and the latest infection rate is 41.7 cases per 100,000.
Bury is another area where the overall trend is down.
The latest infection rate there is 21.5, with 41 cases recorded in the last week, eight fewer than the previous – a fall of 16 percent.
A total of 1,064 people tested positive for coronavirus across Greater Manchester in the week which ended on May 4.
The Greater Manchester weekly total has increased by 101 cases compared to the previous week, which means the infection rate was up 10 percent in the last week.
In the region as a whole, the infection rate is now 37.5 per 100,000, 16 percent higher than the national average of 21.