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Where coronavirus is spreading fastest in England as top 20 hotspots listed

The latest coronavirus hotspots have been revealed in England as the north continues to struggle with the killer virus.

New figures show the top areas in England struggling to contain spiralling infection rates.

Towns in the north still top the list despite figures showing a slight decline in new cases.

The data, taken from the seven days up to August 21, is based on tests carried out in labs and in the wider community.

In Oldham, 144 new cases were recorded in the seven days to August 21 – the equivalent of 60.7 per 100,000 people.

This is the highest rate in England, but it is down from 95.3 in the seven days to August 14.

The rate in Pendle is 55.4, down from 87.9, with 51 new cases.

Blackburn with Darwen is third, where the rate has fallen from 88.2 to 51.4, with 77 new cases.

In Leicester the rate continues to fall, down from 58.4 to 46.9, with 166 new cases.

Three other areas have rates above 40 per 100,000: Manchester (42.7), Bradford (42.2) and Swindon (40.1).

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Oldham was finally plunged back under restrictions last week after days of teetering in the edge of a lightening lockdown.

That town and parts of Blackburn and Pendle are facing extra restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Residents in those areas are not allowed to socialise with anyone from outside their household, as of midnight on Saturday.

Workplaces, childcare facilities and businesses, including restaurants and pubs, will remain open.

Elsewhere, Birmingham has been added to the Government's watch list, and Northampton named an "area of intervention".

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Since July, the Government has been introducing extra restrictions after a spike in coronavirus cases.

It comes as scientists in Hong Kong reported the first case of a apparently healthy patient being reinfected with Covid-19.

However the World Health organisation has urged people not to jump to conclusions over the case.

Elsewhere, New Zealand extended its lockdown in its largest city, Auckland, as the Prime Minister called 2020 “frankly, terrible”.

And as France and Italy record their highest numbers of daily cases since April, Boris Johnson said it is "vitally important" children go back to school.

The countries top 20 hotspots for the virus this week are below, listed with the rate of new cases up to August 21, the number of new cases that week, and the rate of cases to August 14 with the number of new cases to the same date.

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List of top 20 hotspots

From left to right, it reads: name of local authority, rate of new cases in the seven days to August 21, number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to August 21, rate of new cases in the seven days to August 14, number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to August 14.

Oldham 60.7 (144), 95.3 (226)

Pendle 55.4 (51), 87.9 (81)

Blackburn with Darwen 51.4 (77), 88.2 (132)

Leicester 46.9 (166), 58.4 (207)

Manchester 42.7 (236), 48.8 (270)

Bradford 42.2 (228), 55.9 (302)

Swindon 40.1 (89), 39.6 (88)

Rochdale 37.8 (84), 40.9 (91)

Northampton 35.6 (80), 116.6 (262)

Bury 33.0 (63), 31.9 (61)

Oadby and Wigston 31.6 (18), 26.3 (15)

Redditch 29.3 (25), 4.7 (4)

Stoke-on-Trent 28.9 (74), 18.3 (47)

Salford 27.0 (70), 36.3 (94)

Calderdale 27.0 (57), 40.2 (85)

Kirklees 26.6 (117), 35.5 (156)

Oxford 26.2 (40), 18.4 (28)

Corby 23.5 (17), 16.6 (12)

Tameside 23.4 (53), 30.0 (68)

Kettering 22.6 (23), 12.8 (13)

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