CORONAVIRUS cases remained consistently high across the borough in recent weeks.

New figures reveal the number of cases reported in Bolton between January 9-15 rose to 1,123 – remaining close to the 1,121 cases recorded the week before.

Breightmet North saw the highest number of new cases, with 71 residents testing positive, up from 54.

It was one of 15 areas that saw new cases rise, including Little Lever, which reported 50 new infections, up from 47, and Breightmet South and Darcy Lever, recording 48 new cases, up from 40.

Horwich South and Middlebrook recorded the fourth highest number of cases at 45, up from 38 the week before.

Gilnow and Victory and Blackrod and Butterwick Fields both recorded a fall in cases, with 40 new infections reported in each area, down from 47 and 45 respectively.

At the other end of the scale, Horwich North recorded just 12 new infections, down from 23 the week before.

Duscar and Egerton and Halliwell and Brownlow Fold also reported low numbers of new cases, with 19 and 20 new infections, down from 24 and 25 respectively.

The infection trend in each area showed 17 areas reporting a fall in infections, compared to 15 areas reporting rises, and three areas reporting the same number of infections.

The data has been extracted from a map, which uses figures from Public Health England to show each confirmed case of coronavirus by Middle Super Output Area, around 7,200 people.

All 35 of Bolton’s neighbourhoods have now reported three or more infections of the virus every week for four months

The new data came as Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said the Government “must start easing restrictions” by early March.

Mr Harper, the former government chief whip said: “Covid causes serious harm and it’s vital we control it effectively.

“But this cycle of lockdowns and restrictions cause immense damage too – to people’s health, livelihoods and businesses.

“And let’s not forget that school classrooms are shut to millions of children across the country.

“Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8 – assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline – the Government must start easing the restrictions.

“Vaccinations will of course bring immunity from Covid, but they must bring immunity from lockdowns and restrictions too.”