THE number of recorded coronavirus cases in the borough increased by 232 in the latest daily statistics, official figures show.

Public Health England figures show that 232 cases were confirmed in Wigan borough in the 24 hours up to 9am on Thursday, October 15.

The health body is now including Pillar Two tests – those carried out by in the wider community – alongside Pillar One tests, which are analysed in hospitals or laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme.

In the seven-day rolling rate of infection figure, for the week up to October 10, Wigan borough had 1,235 new cases identified, at a rate of 375.8 per 100,000, the third highest in Greater Manchester.

This rate does not include the figures for days since October 10.

Leigh and its surrounding areas, along with the whole of Greater Manchester, were placed under the second tier of coronavirus restrictions it was announced on Monday.

Restrictions include people not socialising with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

A political row has erupted over the prospect of the Greater Manchester being moved up to Tier Three.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said the region "stands firm" in its decision to oppose being moved in Tier 3 lockdown restrictions, after he threatened legal action if the step was taken without the consent of local leaders.

Speaking at a press conference in Manchester city centre on Thursday afternoon, he vowed to continue "fighting back" for the health of the region.

He said: "They are asking us to gamble our residents’ jobs, homes and businesses and a large chunk of our economy on a strategy that their own experts tell them might not work.

"Our conclusion from the Number 10 meeting this morning is they are willing to try and sacrifice jobs and businesses here to try and save them elsewhere.

"Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City-Region and Lancashire are being set up as the canaries in the coalmine for an experimental regional lockdown strategy as an attempt to prevent the expense of what is truly needed."

In the Wigan borough overall, 6.101 people have been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

This means the overall rate of infection in the borough now stands at 1,856 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England average of 1,017.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 18,978 over the 24-hour period, to 673,622.

The borough’s cases were among the 140,311 recorded across the North West, a figure which rose by 4,251 over the period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, asymptomatic, have recovered and those that have died.