The number of Covid hospital patients in south and mid Essex has dropped to a seven-month low. 

Latest figures from the NHS show there were 39 patients being treated for coronavirus at the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust as of April 13.

The last time the trust - which is made up of Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals - recorded a figure of 39 or lower was October 13. 

The number of Covid hospital patients in the region peaked at 920 on January 8 when the country was in the midst of a second wave of Covid infections. 

There were 73 Covid patients on ventilators on January 13, whereas now there are only four. 

It comes as infection rates across the country remain low, despite south Essex seeing a small rise in cases last week. 

Only Southend saw a drop in infections, with just 30 cases recorded in the week ending April 13. 

Basildon had 35 new cases confirmed. 

The latest figures also show there has been another five deaths at mid and south Essex hospitals in the past week linked to coronavirus. 

That's down from 12 the week before and means there has now been 2,379 fatalities at the three hospitals since the pandemic began. 

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death.

This means some of the deaths that were first recorded in the latest period may actually have taken place days earlier.

NHS England guidance states: "Confirmation of Covid-19 diagnosis, death notification and reporting in central figures can take up to several days and the hospitals providing the data are under significant operational pressure."

Only deaths that occur in hospitals where the patient has tested positive for Covid-19 are recorded, with deaths in the community excluded, such as those in care homes.