THE number of Covid-19 patients being treated at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has reduced dramatically, returning to levels not seen since September last year.

While the Wee County has seen a spike in cases last week, attributable to targeted testing at two primary schools as reported elsewhere in the Advertiser today, hospital patient numbers continued a welcome downward trend.

According to the first set of detailed statistics published since the Easter holidays, Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert was caring for just six patients with recently confirmed Covid-19.

The figure has not been this low since the final days of September and first days of October last year, when numbers started rising after a relatively quiet summer period.

The volume of Covid-19 patients peaked mid-February this year, when as many as 171 people were being cared for.

However, the figure has been decreasing since then, falling below 20 a month later.

The number of coronavirus patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Larbert has also been reducing and has been less than five for more than a week.

The vaccination programme also continues to roll on with everyone in the nine priority groups receiving the jab ahead of target.

According to the figures released yesterday, Tuesday April 6, 153,756 people have received their first dose of the vaccine in the Forth Valley, accounting for more than 60 per cent of the population.

When it comes to the second dose of the vaccine, 22,772 people have received theirs.

The figures released after the Easter holiday also show that 55 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the Wee County between Thursday, April 1, and April 5.

That took the total number of cases recorded since the start of the pandemic to 2,377 in Clackmannanshire and 12,259 in the wider area covered by NHS Forth Valley.