THE UK has had the smallest increase in Covid-19 deaths in hospital since March.

The number of people reported to have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus rose by 11 from Sunday to Monday.

This is the smallest day-on-day increase in this total since mid-March.

The figure should be treated with caution, however, as the number of newly announced deaths tends to be lower on a Monday due to fewer deaths being formally reported at weekends.

In Basildon Hospital, the total number of deaths from the virus sits at 305, with no deaths being recorded there since July 4.

In Southend, the total is 243, with the latest recorded death being on July 7.

This with the 17 deaths recorded at the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust in Runwell brings south Essex's total deaths from the virus in hospitals to 565.

The increase of 11 on Monday, none of which were in the East of England, means that as of 5pm on Sunday, 44,830 people have died in the UK after testing positive for Covid-19.

This number includes deaths in all settings, including locations such as care homes.

The increase of 11 on the previous total does not mean 11 deaths have taken place in the past 24 hours.

Instead it means 11 more deaths were reported to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the past 24 hours, some of which might have occurred several days ago.

According to the latest data published by the government, the last time the day-on-day change in the number of reported deaths was below 11 was for the 24 hours to 5pm on March 12.

On this date, there was one new reported death.

Separate figures from the UK's statistical agencies show there have now been over 55,000 deaths in the UK where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.

The new death figures are updated daily.