Four Lancashire areas have been revealed as some of the country's worst coronavirus hotspots

Some of the country’s worst coronavirus hotspots are in Lancashire, it was revealed.

Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 2:36 pm

The council areas of Wyre, Blackpool, Fylde and Preston all had more cases than most other places, according to figures, with new hotspots continuing to develop despite the introduction of the Government’s testing and tracing systems.

Wyre ranked 10th worst for new Covid-19 cases in the past fortnight, with Blackpool in 11th place, Fylde in 13th, and Preston in 17th, analysis by this newspaper showed.

Chorley was 49th, while South Ribble was 76th.

A patient arrives at Blackpool Victoria Hospital during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

Monitoring the number of new infections plays an important part in measuring the reproduction – or ‘R’ – rate of the virus.

The ‘R’ is the average number of people each diagnosed victim will go on to infect. Anything over one means the disease will continue to grow.

Last month, the rate in Blackpool hit 1.6, but later dropped to 0.5, though the resort’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura warned: “Using the R value at local authority level is somewhat unreliable because a small localised outbreak can lead to what appears to be a large increase.”

The Government last month unveiled plans for “local lockdowns” in the next phase of the fight against the pandemic.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said measures had since been put in place to dampen localised outbreaks, such as in Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset.

The seaside town’s hospital was closed to new patients to control the spread of the virus amongst staff and patients.

Mr Hancock said it would be “increasingly important” to monitor data at local levels and then take action.

Between May 23-June, Wyre had 39 new cases, Blackpool had 47, Fylde had 26, and Preston had 43.

The biggest hotspot was revealed to be Ashford in the South East.