Rise in Bolton Covid-19 cases slowing but not time to ‘rest’ yet – doctor

The rise in Covid-19 cases in Bolton is slowing down but there is no room for complacency, a senior doctor has warned.

The seven-day rate in Bolton currently stands at 386.7 cases per 100,000, down from 452.8 on May 21, suggesting the recent surge in cases in the town, driven by the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus, may have peaked.

Bolton shares a border with Blackburn with Darwen, and both areas have reported some of the highest numbers of cases of the Indian variant, with Bolton recording 1,354 up to May 25 – the highest in the country – and Blackburn with Darwen recording 361.

Health teams in both local authorities have been running surge testing for the virus, along with “surge vaccinations” to boost take-up among everyone who is eligible for the vaccine.

An electronic notice board in Bolton town centre
An electronic notice board in Bolton town centre (Peter Byrne/PA)

Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the Covid vaccine programme in Bolton, told BBC Breakfast: “I’m pleased to report that things are starting to slow in terms of the rise here in Covid cases, but we really can’t rest on that.

“It’s only been a few days of the rates slowing down so we really are keen to keep pushing forwards and get the rates down further.”

Dr Wall said there are very young populations in many of the areas that have seen the highest rises in Bolton, and each time the age comes down for vaccine eligibility, thousands more people are able to come forward for the jab.

“I think the age of eligibility going down every few days has really helped, and will really help us, if we can get those people through the doors to be vaccinated asap,” she said.