THERE has been a steady increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the Forth Valley, coupled with the recent rise in reported cases.

As at the start of this week, 41 people were being cared for at Forth Valley Royal Hospital with recently confirmed coronavirus.

The number of patients has been increasing in the past week, nearly tripling since Monday, July 5, when it stood at 15.

Rising patient numbers follow an increase in the daily number of reported positive cases from communities across the wider area.

The past week have seen a number of days with more than 100 new cases reported from across NHS Forth Valley, which includes Clacks, Stirling and Falkirk.

This included 152 cases last Monday, 151 on Tuesday and a peak of 165 on Wednesday.

The higher number of reported cases is both down to more testing being carried out, but also the Delta variant of coronavirus, which is said to become more prevalent and is more transmissible than previous ones.

While Covid-19 patient numbers have increased, the rise has not been mirrored in the intensive care unit (ICU).

As of Monday there were still less than five people requiring intensive care at the Larbert hospital, which has been the case since the end of March.

The recent numbers are also far less than the figures reported at the height of the pandemic.

As reported at the time, the number of Covid-19 patients peaked at 171 in Larbert on February 15 – more than four times the current numbers.