TWO more patients have died after contracting coronavirus at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

One death from Wednesday, and another from Thursday have been linked to covid-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, 465 people have died with coronavirus at the borough's hospital.

Latest statistics show 95 patients in the Royal Bolton were being treated for coronavirus on December 29 – around 16 per cent of the hospital's usual capacity.

At the start of the month, 121 of the 560 patients in the hospital needed treatment for the virus – meaning one in every five people being cared for had covid-19.

The news came as 118 new cases of the virus were identified across Bolton.

Infection rates have begun to rise once more, with the number of new cases recorded in the seven days up to December 27 reaching 514 – a rate of 178.8 new cases per 100,000 people.

Just 449 new cases were seen the week before, the seven days up to December 20, for a rate of 156.1.

Although Bolton's infection rate is rising, it's still far below the national rate of 401 new cases per 100,000 people.

This afternoon saw 53,285 new infections reported across the UK - bringing the total number of infections past the 2.5m mark.