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    • Latest figures show that Manchester now faces rate of 335.9 cases per 100,000 
    • This is far worsened from 20 per 100,000 at start of local lockdowns in area
    • Mayor Andy Burnham warns of a ‘winter of dangerous discontent’

    Manchester’s coronavirus infection rate has increased more than 15-fold since local lockdown was brought in, as Mayor Andy Burnham warns of a ‘winter of dangerous discontent’.   

    The latest figures have revealed that badly hit Manchester now faces a rate of 335.9 cases per 100,000 individuals.

    This is far worsened from the figure of 20 per 100,000 which it held at the end of July when local lockdowns were enforced in Manchester and the surrounding areas of Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale.

    Now Andy Burnham, Mayor Greater Manchester, believes the worsening number of cases and ‘perceived unfairness’ of its lockdowns could see the government ‘losing the public in the North’. 

    Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham who has said decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be ‘imposed’ by the Government

    Burnham said: ‘Without urgent change, the North of England will be thrown into one of the most difficult winters we have ever experienced, with the risk of significant harm to health and our economy. It’s that serious.

    ‘We are heading into the winter months with a Test and Trace system which is still not working and the risk of redundancies rising sharply as the furlough scheme comes to an end. Without extra support for individuals, business and councils, it could be a winter of dangerous discontent.’

    Speaking to Sophy Ridge of Sky News yesterday, Burnham warned of a widening ‘north-south divide’ with local lockdowns mainly in place in northern regions. 

    He has previously said that decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be ‘imposed’ by the Government, but instead handled by local councils.

    Many regions and cities of the north including Manchester (pictured), Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale, have been subject to local lockdowns

    Many regions and cities of the north including Manchester (pictured), Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale, have been subject to local lockdowns

    In place of blanket lockdowns Burnham proposes a new ‘three tiers’ policy for restrictions with ‘more meaningful consultation and proper support for the areas affected’ which he says is ‘not happening at the moment’.  

    The approach would see different lockdown measures imposed depending on the severity of the risk in the area. 

    The mayor warned: ‘We have now reached a point where there is a real risk of the Government losing the public in the North because of the perceived unfairness of its local lockdown policies.

    ‘We can’t let that happen. There is still time to put in place better measures to protect communities across the North this winter but time is running out.’ 

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