96 Covid patients in hospitals across Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester

Ipswich Hospital/Colchester Hospital/West Suffolk Hospital. Picture: Archant

Ipswich, Colchester and West Suffolk hospitals have reported a rise in the number of Covid patients - Credit: Archant

A growing number of Covid patients are needing hospital treatment across Suffolk and north Essex as cases continue to soar.

Latest government figures, for December 14, have revealed there were 96 patients being cared for between East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and West Suffolk Hospital.

ESNEFT, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, was caring for 77 patients, with 16 on mechanical ventilation.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds had 19 patients, though only one was on a ventilator.

The overall number of Covid patients in the region has risen for the first time in more than a month after falling for five consecutive weeks.

There were 80 patients being treated in data released for November 7, a number which had steadily decreased since reaching 132 on November 2.

However, these figures are dwarfed by the number between ESNEFT and West Suffolk Hospital on January 18 this year — when the two trusts were caring for more than 700 Covid patients between them.

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

For the seven days up to December 15, there were 4,157 new infections in the county — rising from 3,417 the week before.