BOLTON'S coronavirus infection rate is now nearly 10 times higher than the UK average, figures have revealed.

The borough's seven-day rate up to May 11 in which someone tested positive for Covid-19 was 228.5 per 100,000 people, according to government data.

That is close to 10 times the UK rate up to that date, which was 24.2.

There were 657 cases of the virus found in Bolton up to May 11.

In the 24 hours up to 4pm on Saturday, 79 new cases in the town were found.

The rise in the infection rate comes after cases of the Indian variant, believed to have been spread from international travel and community transmission, have been identified.

Surge testing has taken place in the BL3 area for a week now, with council teams handing out kits to residents in a bid to track the virus.

Vaccinations have also been stepped up with a bus stationed at Essa Academy this weekend offering jabs to people who are eligible to have it.

Despite the rise in cases, there has not been a coronavirus-related death at the Royal Bolton Hospital since Monday, April 26.

There have been 648 deaths linked to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.