A FURTHER 23 patients with Covid have been admitted to hospital with Covid over the last week, the latest figures show.

According to the latest NHS England data, the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs hospitals in Herefordshire, was caring for 31 coronavirus patients on Tuesday, March 29.

Data shows the number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 by 8am on March 22 was down from 32 on the same day the week before.

The number of beds at Wye Valley NHS Trust occupied by people who tested positive for Covid-19 almost trebled over the last four weeks as 28 days ago there were eight.

Across the UK, there were 15,632 people in hospital with Covid as of March 29, with 325 of them in mechanical ventilation beds – though none were at Wye Valley NHS Trust.

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised nationally was up from 13,060 the week before

The figures also show that 23 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital at the Wye Valley NHS Trust in the week to March 27. This was down from 25 in the previous seven days.

At a Wye Valley NHS Trust board meeting in February, chief executive Glen Burley said Covid was, at the time, an improving picture.

While the trust was treating 23 patients with Covid at the time, he said a "large proportion" were found to have Covid on admission for other reasons rather than being admitted due to the virus.

Fewer patients were on oxygen and in critical care than last year, he said.

Seperate figures show Herefordshire's coronavirus infection rate was continuing to rise, but universal free testing has ended today (Friday).

In the seven days to March 26, 2,093 positive tests were reported, a 21.3 per cent rise from the 1,725 found the week before.

The latest infection rate for Herefordshire, the number of cases of 100,000 people, stands at 1,081.0 for the seven days to March 26.

That is higher than the UK average of 890.3.

The new rules say that from April 1 in England, patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care, will still get free tests.