Coronavirus patient numbers in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals have fallen for a third consecutive week - as a rise in infections is reported in the region.

Figures reported on February 1 revealed there were 102 patients with the virus at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, on this date.

This was a slight rise from the total of 100 reported the week before.

But West Suffolk Hospital has continued to report a decrease in the number of Covid patients in the same timeframe.


The hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, had 42 patients as of February 1 - a fall from 61 on January 25.

Two of ESNEFT's patients and one at West Suffolk Hospital are being treated with mechanical ventilation.

It comes after the total number of Covid cases in Suffolk rose by almost 75% in a week.

There were 14,476 new infections reported in the county in the week ending February 1 - an increase from 8,374 seven days prior.

It emerged last week that a majority of Covid patients in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals were being treated primarily for something else.

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said the pandemic is entering a "plausible endgame" on the continent.

He said "for now, the number of deaths across the region is starting to plateau", adding that several things are on Europe’s side.

There is now an “opportunity to take control of transmission” because many people are immune to Omicron through either natural infection or vaccination, Dr Kluge added.