The latest data has shown that coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates in Greater Manchester are 65% lower than when the region was first placed under Tier 3 restrictions.
Rates have fallen fastest in Salford, where they have gone down by 76% in the last six weeks.
Across the Greater Manchester region, the number of cases has fallen far quicker than in the rest of the country, with a 30% in England as a whole, and it means that the infection rate in the region is now only slightly above the national average.
At the time of entering into the first round of Tier 3 restrictions, the rate for the region as a whole was 547.5 cases per 100,000 people and was still going up, but that rise began to slow down in the following days and by the time the national lockdown was introduced on 5th November, the region’s rates were beginning to show a downward trend.
This trend accelerated rapidly in the last four weeks.
The number of cases has dropped by three quarters in Salford, falling from 643.6 to below the England average at 157 cases per 100,000 people, with Trafford seeing the second largest drop of 72% over the same time period and is also now below the national average.
Rochdale – which currently has the highest infection rate in Greater Manchester – has had the slowest fall in cases, but has still seen a drop by 55% since original Tier 3 restrictions first came into effect.
Most areas in Greater Manchester reached peak levels around the end of October and first week of November.
Manchester recorded the highest infection rate of any area in the region – 812.2 per 100,000 – which came a few weeks earlier on 3rd October when there was a large number of cases detected among the student population, and Oldham is the only other area to post a weekly infection rate above 800, which was on 4th November.
In England as a whole, rates have fallen by just 30% since 23rd October, but rates were much lower in the rest of the country at that point.
This new data follows the news that the UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, with the Department of Health and Social Care confirming it has been given the go-ahead by the health regulator MHRA for the vaccine to become administered from next week.
Pfizer and BioNTech reported final trial results on 18th November, showing its vaccine was 95% effective in preventing coronavirus (COVID-19), with no major safety concerns.
Studies have shown the jab works in all age groups.
Greater Manchester leaders believe the fall in cases mean the region should be placed in Tier 2 when the current tiers are first reviewed on 16th December.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.
Andy Burnham wants to help more girls get into football
Andy Burnham has urged schools to do more to encourage young girls to get into football.
The Greater Manchester Mayor was speaking to Sky News‘ Kay Burley on Thursday, 8 December as he discussed the importance of promoting more women in football and sport, in general.
Burnham said that himself, the FA and notable women’s football advocates like former keeper Karen Bardsley are “determined” to make sure the buzz following the Women’s Euros isn’t just a flash in the pan.
With the England men’s team currently trying to replicate the Lionesses‘ success as they prepare for the quarter-final of the 2022 World Cup, he went on to emphasise the lasting memories football can create on a global scale.
The Mayor went on to say that with the help of schools across the UK, they hope to “make sure that the success the Lionesses had in the summer becomes a permanent legacy”, imploring schools, the sporting community and the nation at large “not let those summer memories fade”.
Insisting that he already feels the heroics of Euro 2022 have already had an impact when it comes to inspiring more girls to get into football.
He said that the uptake among “women in football” since the tournament has been “amazing” but warned educators and parents not to “leave it to chance” and provide the support to make “real change”.