The number of people dying from coronavirus at Queen's and King George hospitals fell by 22 per cent this week - but there were still 97 deaths as a result of the virus.

The figure is for the week up until Wednesday (January 27) and represents a drop of almost a quarter from the previous week (124 deaths), according to data from the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trusts (BHRUT).

It means there have now been 1,374 Covid deaths at the hospitals in Romford and Goodmayes since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The fall in numbers is announced on the same day that the trust's chief medical officer said cases were "past the peak" at BHRUT hospitals.

She said: "It varies from day to day, it's definitely getting easier. At the moment that number is on a very slow but steady decline, which is really good news."

The decrease is reflected across the board, as the number of patients at both hospitals diagnosed with Covid dropping from 404 people to 327 in the past week.

The numbers of patients in intensive care have also fallen - down to 36, some 15 less than the previous week. However, the critical care units remain at 95 per cent capacity.

Thankfully, across both sites, 363 people have been discharged having recovered from coronavirus since last Thursday (January 21).

Staff absence rates at the hospitals also remain stable, with 598 absences (8 per cent), including 125 who have tested positive for Covid and 27 who are self-isolating.