British Army on alert as Manchester Covid-19 cases soar

GREATER Manchester, a region with a population of 2.8 million, has declared a major incident as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.

A major incident was announced today after senior police, local authorities and other agencies met this weekend to discuss the current regional outbreak. It is feared the army could be drafted in to support police in Manchester if necessary. Huge spikes of coronavirus have been seen in Manchester, Tameside and Oldham.


Infection rates for the week to Thursday show cases per 100,000 people still rising in every part of the area, which encompassed more than 2.8million people.

The figures show cases in Manchester and Tameside have more than doubled in seven days, while Oldham’s remain the highest and the fastest-growing.

Provisional figures for the week to Friday, which will be revised by Public Health England in the coming 24 hours, suggest that trend then continued upwards.

However Oldham had 31 confirmed cases on July 28, which is the highest in a single day since May 9.

Manchester Lockdown: Officials have declared a major incident (Image: Getty/PA)

Manchester lockdown: Metrolink workers wear high vis jackets that urge social distancing (Image: Getty)

Having now declared a major incident, the town can access extra national resources – such as the army – if it becomes necessary.

Officials met for ‘gold command meetings’ this weekend, amid concerns infections are still rising despite new restrictions being put in place from Thursday, the Manchester Evening News reports.

On Thursday Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Twitter at 9pm that large swathes of the North of England would have lockdown restrictions tightened.

He said over 4million people in areas of Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire separate households were no longer allowed to meet indoors.

Manchester lockdown: A coronavirus information screen is on view in the centre of Manchester (Image: Getty)

When announcing the new lockdown restrictions on Thursday, Mr Hancock said the new spike in infections were largely caused by people not abiding by social distancing rules.

He said: “Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire & East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.

“The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing.

“So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.”

Coronavirus UK map live (Image: Express)

Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham backed the moves to tighten lockdown restrictions and has since called on the Government to re-introduce shielding measures, which came to an end in England on July 31.

Mr Burnham wrote on Twitter: “I listened to the Government when they came to me late on Thursday and asked for our support for new restrictions.

“I am now asking them to listen to us: please reinstate the shielding policy in Greater Manchester from first thing tomorrow.

“Failure to do so is wrong and inhumane.”