UK coronavirus live: Oldham residents warned Leicester-style lockdown could come in days

By Archie Bland (now) and Amelia Hill (earlier)

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Oldham is one of the areas covered by the additional restrictions imposed by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, across large parts of northern England on 30 August.The Greater Manchester town had already introduced its own restrictions two days earlier when the number of confirmed cases started to rise.Despite these restrictions, the number of cases has evidently continued to rise sharply.

Arooj Shah, Oldham council’s deputy leader, said the 255 new cases were “in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities”.

The previous spike three weeks ago was more concentrated in areas with large multi-generational households, with two-thirds of cases in the town’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities.It appears that the transmission of the virus is now spreading more widely. There has been particular concern about young people carrying the disease unknowingly and spreading it to elder relatives following social trips to pubs, parks and house parties.Residents in the town have previously been told not to have social visitors beyond those in their support bubble and that clinically vulnerable people would now have to shield until at least 14 August. Care homes in the town have also kept in place strict visiting restrictions.According to NHS Digital, Oldham now has the highest infection rate in England, ahead of Blackburn with Darwen, Leicester, Bradford and Calderdale.

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Leicester-style lockdown in days unless rules are followed, Oldham residents warned

People in Oldham have been told they face a Leicester-style lockdown within days unless they adhere to additional lockdown rules after the number of coronavirus cases nearly doubled in a week.The Greater Manchester town now has the highest infection rate in England, according to NHS Digital data for the week to 8 August.Oldham council said on Thursday it had seen 255 new cases in that week – almost double the 137 cases in the previous week – despite additional lockdown measures being introduced on 28 July.

The jump in cases means Oldham’s infection rate is now at 107.5 cases per 100,000 people – almost at Leicester’s rate of 135 cases per 100,000 when it became the first UK city to enter a full local lockdown.

Councillor Arooj Shah, the deputy leader of Oldham council and cabinet member for Covid-19 recovery, said: “We know people in Oldham have, on the whole, been behaving responsibly and abiding by the coronavirus restrictions.

“But coronavirus has not gone away – and rates are now rising. To avoid a second lockdown, there is no time to lose. We need everyone to act now and make changes to the way they live, to prevent strict lockdown restrictions being implemented in the coming days or weeks.

“Figures are showing us that cases are rising here in Oldham in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities. We are all at risk of this terrible virus and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and wider society by obeying this tougher guidance and acting responsibly.”

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