There has been a further increase in the number of people with Covid-19 at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex.

According to government data, there were 339 patients with the virus that had been admitted between East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and West Suffolk Hospital on March 29.

This figure was 246 patients last week – a rise of 93.

ESNEFT, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, was caring for 267 patients, up from 182 on March 22.

However, only 10 of these were being treated with mechanical ventilation.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds had 72 patients –up from 64 – though only two were on a ventilator.

However, the data does not reveal how many of these patients are being treated primarily for Covid or for another condition.

The rise in Covid numbers in hospital comes amid an increase in the number of infections reported in Suffolk.

For the seven days leading up to March 27, there were 8,219 new cases reported in the county.

Last week, Stuart Keeble, Suffolk's director of public health, said he was "understandably concerned" about rising infection rates.

He added: "Although we are no longer required to legally self-isolate if we have Covid, we do still strongly recommend to, as this will prevent more people from becoming ill, especially those most susceptible."

Last week, ESNEFT announced the suspension of visitors to its wards at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals after a surge in the number of Covid cases in the local area.

Despite rising cases, the number of deaths with Covid on the death certificate in Suffolk has steadily fallen since the start of the year.

In the seven days leading up to March 18, there were 15 deaths with Covid on the death certificate – but there were 22 in the seven days leading up to January 14.