Hospitals in mid and south Essex are only caring for four coronavirus patients - the lowest number since Septmeber. 

The latest NHS data shows the figure had dropped as low as two patients last weekend before rising to four on Tuesday. 

The Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust, which manages Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals, was caring for more than 900 Covid patients during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic back in January. 

But it is now caring for just a handful of people according to the latest data, with only one of them on a mechanical ventilator. 

The last time there were just four or less patients being treated by the trust was back on September 24. 

There has meanwhile been no new Covid deaths reported at any of the three hospitals in more than a week, with the last one announced on May 20. 

But the overall death toll at the mid and south Essex trust - 2,385 - remains among the highest in the country. 

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Covid infection rates across mid and south Essex remain low, despite several cases of the Indian variant of the virus being identified in the likes of Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend. 

The variant is thought to be up to 50 per cent more transmissable than other variants. 

The latest infection rates, and number of cases recorded in each district and borough in th region in the seven days ending May 23 were:


Infection rate: 5.3 cases per 100,000 people

New cases: 10

Castle Point

Infection rate: 7.7

New cases: 7


Infection rate: 9.5

New cases: 17


Infection rate: 5.7

New cases: 5


Infection rate: 10.4

New cases: 19


Infection rate: 9.2

New cases: 16