GREATER Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham revealed that the R rate for coronavirus in Greater Manchester has an average of 0.73 at the moment.

The R rate, standing for reproductive rate, is the number of people that a person infected with COVID-19 will pass the virus on to, on average.

Speaking at a video press conference today, Wednesday, Mr Burnham believes Greater Manchester has one of the highest rates in the country and he has concerns over the effect that lifting some of the social distancing restrictions may have.

He suggested that the decision to ease the lockdown may have been influenced by the interests of London and the south east.

Mr Burnham also said around 34 per cent of Greater Manchester's care homes, of which there are around 500, are reporting virus outbreaks.

Overall, 338 care homes in the region which have at some point reported outbreaks during the pandemic.

The mayor also announced the number of new cases had fallen in the space of a week.

Testing and tracing should be a priority for the Government, he added.