The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise steadily in Greater Manchester, the latest figures show.

The infection rate in Stockport, Tameside and Trafford is rising sharply compared to last week, according to the latest data published by the government.

The average rate for the region as a whole now stands at 193 cases per 100,000 people for the week ending December 22, a rise of 18 per cent week on week.

That is well below the average for England, which is currently 378, but the increasing infection rate for the country continues to be driven largely by spirally cases in London and the South East where the new strain of coronavirus is said to be prevalent.

The rate in London is now 743 cases per 100,000 people, a rise of more than 58 per cent week-on-week.

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In Greater Manchester, Bury continues to have the highest infection rate at 225 cases per 100,000.

Trafford, Rochdale, Salford and Manchester are all above 200, while Oldham, Stockport, Wigan, Tameside and Bolton are all above 150.

Nationally, the Government said that as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 34,693 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,256,005.

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The Government said a further 210 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 70,405.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 86,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

But the figures for deaths and cases are likely to be higher as Scotland is not releasing death data between December 24 and 28, and Northern Ireland is not providing either case or death data over the same period.

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