Almost 50 fewer patients are being treated with coronavirus at Suffolk and north Essex hospitals as case numbers in the region continue to decline.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, was treating 99 patients as of August 2, according to government figures.

But this number has fallen from the 138 patients in ESNEFT's care on July 26.

West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, has also reported a week-on-week decrease in the number of Covid patients it is treating.

The hospital had 37 on July 26, but this number fell to 27 on August 2.

The decrease in the number of Covid patients in the region is in line with the fall in the number of reported new infections.

In the week up to August 2, Suffolk recorded 752 new cases – a fall from the 1,101 weekly infection total from seven days earlier.

The north Essex districts of Colchester, Tendring and Braintree have also seen their weekly number of cases fall from 709 to 459 in the same timeframe.

However, the overall figures may be skewed by the lack of free public testing, which ended in April this year.

Speaking at the end of last month, Giles Thorpe, chief nurse at ESNEFT, encouraged people to get Covid vaccines and boosters to help prevent serious illness from the virus.

He said: "Our teams continue to work hard to care for all our patients, both with and without Covid-19, who need support and treatment in our hospitals and in the community.

"While we may have moved into a new phase of living with Covid-19, it hasn’t gone away.

"We would still encourage people in our communities to wear a face mask in crowded, busy areas, and to try and stay at home and avoid contact with others if they have symptoms of the virus, or if they have tested positive for Covid-19.

"Also, if you have not had your first, second or booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, you can still take up the offer at many locations local to you.

"Vaccination continues to offer effective protection against serious illness and death with Covid-19."