CORONAVIRUS infections have jumped significantly in 12 areas in England in the last week, new government data has revealed.
Birmingham is at risk of being put into lockdown after Covid cases soared, while Northampton and Manchester have also had a sharp increase.
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Data from Public Health England shows cases in terms of per 100,000 of the population and calculates cases up to August 16.
Birmingham is sixth on the list and has seen an increase in cases from 22.4 to 30.0 – with 321 new cases in the last seven days.
It’s more than double figures from a fortnight ago when 11 cases per 100,000 were recorded in the city.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is said to have chaired a “gold command meeting” today to discuss the possibility of a local lockdown in Birmingham.
Birmingham City Council’s leader Ian Ward said they wanted to avoid restrictions to stop the local economy being disrupted even further.
It comes after the city’s director of public health Dr Justin Varney said it was likely that the city would feature in the national “watch list” due to the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Officials are yet to disclose when residents will be told if the city will be forced back into lockdown.
The rise in cases in Birmingham has been in part due to more people being tested but according to Dr Varney, “there has been a real rise in infection transmission”.
Meanwhile, Northampton is top of the list after it witnessed a significant increase this week and went from 38.7 cases to 116.6.
Health chiefs have been battling outbreaks in the area after it was reported last week that 300 workers at a food factory caught the virus despite warnings of a local lockdown.
A total of 262 new cases were recorded in the town in the seven days to August 16, the equivalent of 116.6 per 100,000 people, up from 38.7 in the seven days to August 9.
Other areas with notable jumps include Manchester which went from 37.8 to 49.0 and Salford, a city in Greater Manchester where cases have risen from 24.3 to 36.7.
Nearby Bury has also jumped from 25.1 to 33.0.
Stoke-on-Trent has also seen a jump from 16.0 to 24.2.
Barnsley in South Yorkshire has jumped from 13.4 to 23.1 and local leaders in the area have warned that this could lead to a local lockdown.
Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton and the town’s director of public health, Julia Burrows said there had been a significant increase in the area of Wombwell.
Meanwhile, Oadby and Wigston in Leicester has gone from 12.4 to 22.8, it comes weeks after officials reassured residents that cases in the area were dropping.
Craven in North Yorkshire is also at risk after cases there jumped from 1.8 to 22.8.
In Coventry cases increased from 15.3 to 21.8, while in Woking cases jumped from 8.9 to 19.8 and in Richmond upon Thames they went from 5.6 to 19.2.
The increase in cases in the areas above come as cases in areas that had previously been forced to place residents under localised lockdowns have fallen.
Oldham has had just 200 new cases over the last week, with the rate dropping from 105.4 to 84.3.
Ministers are set to hold a meeting today to decide whether to increase, extend or decrease lockdown measures across Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire.
Despite a drop in cases, Oldham still has the highest infection rate in the country.
In Leicester the rate continues to fall, down from 68.9 to 47.4, with 168 new cases.
The city became the first in Britain to face local restrictions, after an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases.
Tough measures were first introduced in late June to halt Covid-19, as the bug spread through food and clothing factories, and households.
Both Leicester and Greater Manchester have seen strict lockdown restrictions imposed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock after a recorded spike in infections.
People in both cities are still not allowed to visit each other in their homes as part of moves to try and stop the spread.
Yesterday nail bars, salons and outdoors pools re-opened in the Leicester.
But current rules banning gatherings in private homes and gardens will remain in place for now to prevent another rise.