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Covid in Greater Manchester: how does the situation this Christmas compare to last year?

Data shows a very clear pattern across the city-region’s 10 local authorities.

The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the UK and the Prime Minister is said to be considering introducing tough new restrictions on socialising - a situation reminiscent of last Christmas.

However, the country is in a very different position than it was last December.

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The vaccine rollout has had a huge impact on the number of deaths and hospitalisations, although cases are surging across the country.

And that is definitely the position in Greater Manchester, with all 10 boroughs showing cases up and deaths down this December compared to last.

Based on analysis of UK Government data we reveal how the pandemic has changed in Greater Manchester over the last year.

The analysis covers the time period 13 December 2020 to 13 December 2021.

How many positive cases are there in Greater Manchester?

In every one of the 10 boroughs that make up the city-region, case numbers this December are higher than they were this time last year.

This year, on 13 December, Manchester recorded a seven-day rolling average of 750 new reported cases, or 543.2 per 100,000 residents,

This was 621% more than on the same day last year when 104 new cases were reported as a seven-day rolling average.

Some people infected with Covid-19 don’t experience any symptoms of the virus (Photo: Shutterstock)

Similarly in Trafford there was a 795% rise in cases, with seven-day rolling average rates of 774.5 per 100,000 people this December and 118.3 per 100,000 residents last December.

In Salford the year-on-year case rise was 586%, from 49 new cases reported last year to 336 in 2021.

How many deaths have there been in Greater Manchester?

The success of the vaccine rollout has seen deaths plummet in the last year, with death rates this December down in every one of Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities compared to this time last year.

Again looking at a seven-day rolling average, there were 3.6 deaths per 100,000 residents recorded on 13 December 2020.

That went down to 1.1 per 100,000 residents for the same date this year.

In Oldham the rolling average death rate was 3.8 per 100,000 people last December and 1.7 for the same date in 2021.

And in Trafford the seven-day rolling average death rate for 13 December this year was zero, compared to 4.2 per 100,000 residents this time 12 months ago.

Deaths with Covid-19 have, of course, continued to be recorded.

In Manchester 517 people have died with the novel coronavirus between 13 December 2020 and the same date this year.

In Salford a further 236 people, sadly, have lost their lives.

And in Stockport there have been a further 324 deaths between 13 December last year and this year.

How many people are in hospital in Greater Manchester?

Hospital cases have also changed across Greater Manchester in the past year.

Last year on 14 December at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust there were 247 people in hospital and 27 people on mechanical ventilation (MV) beds, while this year there are 137 hospital cases and 15 people on MV beds.

This represents a 44.5% drop in hospital cases and a 44% change in MV beds.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has seen decreases of 27.4% in hospital cases and 88% in people requiring ventilation.

Queen Alexandra Hospital Picture Habibur Rahman

However, regional health chiefs have stressed in recent days that this does not necessarily mean the NHS is not under pressure.

Sarah Price, interim chief officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus means it has become even more important than ever that we all play our part in protecting each other – and where possible reduce pressure on public services.

“There is still a lot to be learnt about the threat posed by this new variant of the virus, but that doesn’t mean we can be complacent.

“The spread of the Omicron variant is a fast-moving and rapidly-changing situation and we are working hard to prepare for its potential impact on our hospitals and want to reassure the public that the NHS will always be there to care for those who need help, but ultimately the best thing we can all do to help each other is to stay as fit and well as possible over the coming months.”