Atherton South West has emerged as Greater Manchester's new coronavirus hotspot.

Public Health England figures show there were 78 positive cases recorded in the area, near Wigan, during the week ending October 21.

With an infection rate of 961.2 cases per 100,000 people, it was the worst affected place in the region over the seven day period.

The next highest rate was recorded in Astley Bridge & Waters Meeting, in Bolton, where 84 people tested positive at a rate of 958 per 100,000.

The areas of Greater Manchester with the highest infection rates in the week ending October 21

Meanwhile, there were 89 people new cases in Worsley, in Salford, giving the area an infection rate of 920 per 100,000 people.

The number of infections in Atherton South West, which represents roughly the same area as the Atherleigh council ward, has continually increased for four consecutive weeks.

51 cases were recorded in the week up to October 14, an increase from 33 on the previous seven days.

It is not yet clear why the spike in infections in the area has been so large.

In contrast, just 44 swabs came back positive in neighbouring Atherton North in the weekend to October 21, at a rate of 499 per 100,000 people.

The latest coronavirus infection rate for Wigan borough stands at 561.4 cases per 100,000 people, almost three times the national average.

When Greater Manchester was first placed under local restrictions on July 31, Wigan had a 7-day coronavirus infection rate of less than 10 cases per 100,000, below the national average.

Local leaders successfully argued that Wigan should be released from the restrictions as rates remained the lowest in Greater Manchester during most of August.

But the rate has continued to climb since mid-September and has led to Wigan, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, being placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

Separate data released by the NHS shows that there has been an increase in the number of hospital patients dying with Covid-19 at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust in recent weeks.

NHS statistics last week showed there were no coronavirus deaths at all at the Trust in the three months between July 2 - October 2 but so far this month the Trust has reported 41 Covid-19 deaths.

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