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Greater Manchester to get more support to tackle rising Covid cases

A pupil being tested for Covid-19 at All Saints Catholic College in Dukinfield. Credit: Anthony Devlin.

Greater Manchester - including Tameside and Oldham - is to get a "strengthened package of support" in order to help combat rising cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus in the region.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday (8 June) that it will include rapid response teams, extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing. 

People living in Greater Manchester are also being advised to meet outside rather than inside where possible, keep two metres apart from people outside your household or support bubble, and minimise travel in and out of the area. 

Mr Hancock said: "Working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what is working in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there."

He added: "I want to encourage everyone in Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer.

"We know that this approach can work. We've seen it work in south London and in Bolton in stopping a rise in the number of cases and this is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Manchester and in Lancashire.

"And of course, it is vital that people in these areas as everywhere else come forward and get the jab as soon as they are eligible because that is our way out of this pandemic together."

Mr Hancock has previously said that the new Covid-19 variant, also known as the Delta variant, is 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent (Alpha) strain. 

Latest government figures showed that of the top 20 areas with the highest infection rates in England in the week leading up to 3 June, all but three were in Greater Manchester or Lancashire.

It comes less than two weeks before 21 June - the government's proposed date for the next relaxation of restrictions.

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