A RISE in the number of patients with covid-19 in the borough hospital has highlighted why people need to follow the latest restrictions, health chiefs say. 

Recent figures show that 54 people are currently being treated for symptoms of coronavirus, with seven people needing to be mechanically ventilated – the same number of people being cared for at the start of April.

Just two weeks later, the hospital hit its peak, with 144 patients needing medical treatment for the virus.

Cllr Susan Baines, the wellbeing lead at Bolton Council, believes this should serve as stark reminder of why people need to follow the rules.

She said: "Hospitals aren't places that take you in unless you really are quite sick.

"This disease is around us at all times and at the moment it's really important that these messages are listened to and complied with.

"If you think 'I'm a fit healthy person I can't catch it' you need to know it could affect anyone at any time and you need to listen to what you're asked to do – otherwise you're going to end up as a statistic.

"The vast majority are doing what they need to do and they're protecting each other – we're several months down the line now and we still have to get out these essential messages about washing our hands and staying apart from each other.

"These are simple things but are very useful in fighting this horrible disease."

Bolton is under Tier 3 of the government's lockdown restrictions – meaning certain businesses such as betting shops, soft play centres, and casinos have to close.

The borough faces the highest level of measures to tackle the virus, with officials hoping to slow the spread, and stop the health service from becoming overloaded.

Although the number of patients being treated is similar to the first wave of infections, health bosses don't think we'll see the same rise.

Andy Ennis, chief operating officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The situation at the hospital is under control, though very busy, and we were well prepared for this.

" Our modelling suggests that whilst numbers will rise, we will not see as many patients require critical care. In the first wave covid-19 was an unknown disease, but we have more treatments available now that are proven to work, helping us better care for patients that require hospital treatment.

“The modelling also indicates that so far we are seeing a slower rise than in the first wave. We are continually using our data to ensure that we can plan ahead as much as possible. Whilst the data suggests that we won’t be at the same levels as we were in April in two weeks’ time, we continue to prepare for that possibility.

“We’ve worked hard to reintroduce our other services following the first peak, and it is critical that we continue to help our patients get the care and treatment they need. The introduction of Tier 3 restrictions slows down the spread of the virus and enables us to keep caring for as many people as we can.”