Manchester now has the highest Covid infection rates of anywhere in the UK

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Manchester has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the country.

Its seven-day average rate nearly doubled in two days from 289 to 495.6 cases per 100,000.

The new high emerged when Public Health England revised Covid-19 cases for the week ending October 1, yesterday.

Rates in every Greater Manchester borough went up after a government computer glitch meant thousands of positive test results were missed, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Public Health England said nearly 16,000 cases – which had not been reported over the previous ten days – had been added to the official data over the weekend.

Although all those who had positive tests were notified, it has been reported that the computer error may have led to delays in the test and trace system.

The glitch also means that local authorities in Greater Manchester – and the public – have not been aware of the true level of infections over the past ten days.

The updated statistics show Covid-19 is spreading faster in Manchester than in nearly any other area with the number of positive tests doubling week-on-week

There were 2,740 cases in Manchester in the week ending October 1st, which was 1,506 more than in the previous week – an increase of 122 per cent.

The MEN has reported how a spike in infections among the student population has seen the number of cases rise sharply in south Manchester suburbs including Fallowfield.

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In the week ending September 30, a total of 339 cases were confirmed in the Fallowfield Central neighbourhood alone, more than any district in the country.

Manchester now has a higher infection rate than Knowsley on Merseyside, which previously had the highest rate in England, Knowsley had a rate of 452.1 per 100,000 people in the week ending October 1.

On Sunday, a total of 3,019 new cases were reported by Public Health England across Greater Manchester as hundreds of backdated cases were added to the daily update.

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This was due to a technical hitch with the computing systems which had resulted in many positive tests between September 24 and October 1 not being reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a BBC TV interview yesterday: “The reason for that is because there was a failure in the counting system which has now been rectified.”

Public Health England said that despite the technical hitch, everyone who has had a positive test has been notified and the error has only been in the reporting of the data which resulted in nearly 16,000 cases being missed from the data in the last ten days.

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Public Health England chief Michael Brodie said: "A technical issue was identified overnight on Friday, October 2, in the data load process that transfers Covid-19 positive lab results into reporting dashboards.

"After rapid investigation, we have identified that 15,841 cases between September 25 and October 2 were not included in the reported daily Covid-19 cases."

"Every one of these cases received their Covid-19 test result as normal and all those who tested positive were advised to self-isolate."

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Across the UK a total of 22,961 cases were added on Sunday, taking the total number of positive tests in the country past the half a million mark since the pandemic began.

The adding of the unreported cases has resulted in the 7-day infection rates being revised upwards in all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

But the recent increase in cases across the region is being largely driven by the spike in Manchester, which has an infection rate nearly double that of all the other nine boroughs.

Of the 3,019 positive tests added in Greater Manchester on Sunday, a third were in Manchester.

The adding of the missing backdated cases meant that the reported infection rate in Manchester went up from 289 cases per 100,000 people on Friday to 495 on Sunday.

  • Coronavirus
  • NHS

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