MORE than 220 people have lost their lives after testing positive for coronavirus at the borough's hospitals.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust had recorded 223 deaths as of 5pm on Sunday.

The borough has seen higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to some neighbouring areas.

In figures released today (Monday), there were seven more deaths confirmed, three of these having been on May 16 and four on May 15.

However, there are some signs the rate has started to slow, with no deaths recorded at the Trust between 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, for the second time in four days.

The borough also had 1,089 cases of coronavirus confirmed, with the rate of increase over the weekend lower than across the UK.

Mayor of Greater Manchester and former Leigh MP Andy Burnham has called for the Government to publish the R value per region to help communities in easing the lockdown.

In the Observer on Sunday he wrote that the Prime Minister could fracture national unity unless he listens to regional concerns, adding lifting of measures came too quickly for the north.

Last week Mr 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 to BBC Breakfast, Mr Burnham called for the Government to publish a regional breakdown of the R value - which measures how many people on average one infected person transmits the disease to - to give people confidence they are making the right decisions at the right time, including on the reopening of schools.

He said: “People do not have the R information at the moment. They can get it, but it’s not formally published by the government.

“There’s a very different picture in the north, particularly in the north east, where the R is the highest, so I can understand concerns.

“Let’s get back around the table, look at the evidence and have some flexibility in terms of how children return to school because it will be different for different places.”

Damian Hinds, former Conservative education secretary, told BBC Breakfast it is “totally understandable” that people have concerns about their children returning to school and that he would expect teaching unions to be thinking about their members, adding this is “absolutely right”.