BLACKBURN with Darwen is earmarked for extra financial Covid support after being categorised as areas of "enduring transmission" for coronavirus Sky News has reported.

The news channel says the area, along with other authorities, will receive support to help with winter pressures which are expected to be worse because of Covid-19.

It says the towns and cities will be categorised as areas of "enduring transmission" for the virus.

Burnley and Hyndburn are also on the list and will also recieve support to help with pressures along with another 14 areas, however they will recieve their funding later in the year.

The boroughs have seen amongst the highest Covid infection rates in the country at times during the pandemic.

According to Sky the package of support will centre around testing, support workplaces to be Covid secure as well as other measures.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, an area which will also be recieving funding, says the news of extra funding to be released on October 22 has come as a surprise to her.

She said: "It would have been really helpful for the Department for Health to have told the MPs of their plans and to talk to us, the clinical commission group about the issues and for us to make representations.

"Is this just another headline grabbing gimmick. I will believe it when I see it in place.

"Bolton has had its challenges over the pandemic, we have people who have not been able to work from home because of the jobs they do.

"There is no information about how much money will be given how it will be used and directed."

Ms Qureshi said that challenges over the pandemic had been exacerbated by Government cuts running into the millions and the shortage of clinicians, including nurses and doctors.

She said she would be contacting the department for health to find out more about the package.

Blackburn with Darwen recorded at one time the highest Covid infection rate in the country, leading to a mass vaccination and surge testing programme.

The boroughs were also under additional restrictions in a bid to the bring the rate down.

The other 14 areas to recieve the additional support are: Bradford, Rochdale, Slough, Bristol, Peterborough, Oldham, Sandwell, Kirklees, Preston, Hartlepool, Tameside, Middlesbrough, Ealing and Manchester.

When we contacted the Department for Health for a response, we were told it falls under the remit of the UK Health Security Agency, from which said it could not comment on the report.