Nearly 180 patients are now being treated with coronavirus at Suffolk and north Essex hospitals as case numbers in the region continue to fall.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, was treating 138 patients as of July 26, according to data released by the government.

This was a rise from the 119 being treated on July 19, and the 92 patients recorded on July 12.

West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, had 37 patients on July 26, a slight decrease from the 39 being treated seven days prior.

Only two of the patients at ESNEFT were being treated with mechanical ventilation, with none at West Suffolk Hospital.

Suffolk has started to see a fall in the number of reported Covid cases – with 1,037 infections reported in the week up to July 26.

The figure for the week up to July 19 was 1,679.

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

Giles Thorpe, chief nurse at ESNEFT, urged people to get a vaccine if they were unvaccinated to reduce the risk of serious illness from Covid.

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."