EIGHT patients are receiving treatment for coronavirus at Dorset County Hospital, according to the latest figures.

Professor Alastair Hutchison, chief medical officer at the hospital, confirmed that as of Thursday, March 11, Dorset County Hospital staff were treating eight patients with Covid-19, including one person in intensive care.

This is the same figure as last week, as eight patients received treatment for coronavirus at the Dorchester-based hospital on Wednesday, March 3.

Prof Hutchison commented that the number of Covid-19 patients had ‘plateaued’ as people are taking varying amounts of time to recover from the virus.

But he welcomed the fall in elderly patients, namely those over 75 years old, suggesting that this is down to the ongoing vaccination programme.

He said: "You can now see in the data that if you look at all of the Covid patients in hospital in Dorset, which is not a very largely number, people aged over 75 years is quite significantly lower than it was.

"That suggests the vaccination program is working and we are starting to see the benefits of it with that lowering number of patients.

"If you go back a month or so, we had about 65 per cent of patients were over the age of 75 whereas now, it has dropped to more like 50 per cent.

"The proportion of elderly patients is going down, but the total number is also going down, so it’s difficult to be precise.

"Over the last two weeks, there’s been a progressive reduction towards that figure."