The number of Covid patients in mid and south Essex hospitals has fallen in the past week.

New figures show there were 86 people being treated for coronavirus across Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals as of Tuesday, September 21.

This was down from 93 from the week before.

The number of patients being treated on a ventilator at the Mid and South Essex trust is now down to eight, having hit 11 the seven days before.

A slight fall in patient numbers mirrors a drop in Covid rates across south Essex, with Southend seeing more than 100 fewer cases compared to this time last week.

There were 367 new cases in the borough in the seven days to September 19 – down from 540 the week before.

Cases were down by 60 to 380 in Basildon and down 44 to 180 in Rochford.

Figures for Castle Point are largely similar to last week after the borough recorded 209 new cases – only one more than a week ago.

It comes as Covid-19 vaccinations are estimated to have prevented 123,100 deaths in England.

Previous estimates had put the number at 112,300 deaths.

The figures, which have been calculated by Public Health England and Cambridge University, cover the period up to September 17.

Around 23.9 million infections have also been prevented by the vaccine rollout, along with 230,800 hospital admissions among people aged 45 and over.

More than 89% of all people aged 16 and over in England have now received one dose of vaccine, while nearly 82% are fully vaccinated.

Vaccine take-up continues to be lower among younger age groups, however.

Separate figures from Public Health England show Covid-19 case rates are falling in most age groups, except for people aged five to 19.

The highest rate is among 10 to 19-year-olds, with 756.2 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September 19, up sharply week-on-week from 605.2.

Among five to nine-year-olds the rate has risen from 389.7 to 483.5.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, urged people to remain vigilant as case rates remain high throughout the country.

“With winter approaching, it is likely that infections, hospitalisations and deaths will rise”, she said.

“The vaccines offer the best protection against Covid-19. One dose is now being offered to 12 to 15-year-olds and a third dose to those over 50, and the clinically vulnerable.

“Please keep following the simple steps to help protect yourself and others. Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, such as on public transport, to reduce the spread of infection. Avoid mixing with others if you feel unwell and make sure to take a PCR test if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.”