THE number of active coronavirus cases in Wirral almost doubled in the space of one week.

The most recent figures, which cover the week ending July 26, show that the borough had 13 active cases, a sharp increase on the previous week’s total of seven.

That means Wirral's infection rate per 100,000 residents has risen from 2.2 in the week ending July 19 to 4.0 in the most recent week’s figures.

But these numbers are far below the borough’s infection rate at the end of June.

In the week ending June 21, Wirral’s infection rate was 19.4, falling to 8.4 the following week.

That figure fell again for the week ending July 5, where the rate plummeted to just 2.5 with eight active infections recorded.

In the three weeks of data since then, Wirral’s active case numbers increased to 14, before falling to 7 and rising again to 13.

The borough’s infection rate is now below that of Merseyside as a whole, which stands at 5.2.

Liverpool is the worst affected borough in Merseyside, with 35 active cases and an infection rate of 7.1, a sharp increase from 2.8 the week before.

The particularly stark numbers in some parts of the city have led to a tightening of restrictions.

In three Liverpool wards, Princes Park, Greenbank and Picton, the city council has introduced new restrictions in response to rising cases of Covid-19.

People in the Princes Park area are being advised not to visit any other households unless it is essential and to maintain social distancing at all times.

They are also strongly advised not to stay overnight in a household they don’t live in – even if is with family.

Visits at care homes in the area have also been suspended, along with those to care homes in Picton and Greenbank, and events and gatherings have been cancelled.

Those considered vulnerable to the virus and on the government’s shielding list are being advised to remain isolated from others.

After Liverpool, Sefton has the highest rate of infection in Merseyside at 5.8, with Knowsley at 3.3 and St Helens at 2.8 both below Wirral’s rate.

Halton, which is part of the Liverpool City Region, has a much lower infection rate of 1.6, with just two active Covid-19 cases in the most recent weekly figures.

None of our region’s boroughs are suffering the much higher numbers of cases seen in other parts of the North West and Leicester.

The latest figures showed Blackburn with Darwen had the highest rate of active cases at 85.9, with Oldham second on 54.3 and Leicester third on 53.2.