Liverpool City Region has largest increases in Covid-19 rates in England

Parts of the Liverpool City Region have seen the biggest increases in coronavirus rates in the last week.

In Knowsley on Merseyside, the rate has soared from 455.4 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to December 30 to 1,263.4 per 100,000 in the seven days to January 6 – the biggest week-on-week rise for any local authority area in England.

Halton in Cheshire, which is also part of the Liverpool City Region, saw the second-biggest jump, from 533.2 to 1,220.2.

And Liverpool itself recorded the third-largest increase, from 387.5 to 958.6.

The rates of coronavirus per 100,000 people in the Liverpool City Region. Credit: PA Graphics

All six authorities in the Liverpool City Region are currently in the top 10 local areas with the biggest week-on-week jump in rates.

The figures show how the rapid increase in rates seen in London and much of south-east and eastern England at the end of December has now spread to other parts of the country.

Steve Rotheram, mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: "These are sobering figures and it's clear that the virus is spreading very rapidly across the country, and worryingly so for the North West and in particular the Liverpool City Region.

"I'd urge everyone to be extra careful and keep doing everything to keep yourself and loved ones safe to stop our NHS being overwhelmed."

Cllr Graham Morgan, leader of Knowsley Council, said, "The rate at which our figures are continuing to increase is a major concern.

"Clearly there are some in our community who are not taking this situation seriously. We have no option but to go back to basics and follow the rules as we all did in the lockdown in the first half of last year."

And while the highest rates in England continue to be recorded in the South and East, here the week-on-week increases are much smaller.

The sharp increase in rates across the Liverpool City Region has yet to be seen in nearby Greater Manchester, though other areas in north-west England are now recording large jumps, including Pendle and Burnley in Lancashire, and Carlisle and Copeland in Cumbria.

All figures have been calculated by the PA news agency based on the latest data published by Public Health England.