Another two Covid deaths have occurred in mid and south Essex hospitals in the past week.

It means there has now been 2,381 fatalities at Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals since the pandemic began.

However, it means there has been another fall in weekly Covid deaths at the hospitals, which stood at five as of last Monday.

The latest data shows there are also seven fewer coronavirus patients (32) at the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust now than this time last week.

Only four of those patients are on ventilators.

The figures come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rubbished claims he was against imposing a third national lockdown.

The Daily Mail reported today that Mr Johnson allegedly said he would rather see “the bodies pile high” than implement a lockdown.

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But the Prime Minister has described the allegations as “total rubbish”.

He added: “I think the important thing I think people want us to get on and do as a Government is to make sure that the lockdowns work.

“They have, and I really pay tribute to the people of this country, this whole country of ours, really pulled together and, working with the vaccination programme, we have got the disease under control.”

He also insisted the “stuff that people are talking about” in Westminster were not issues being raised on the doorstep ahead of the May 6 elections.

Government data shows there have been more than 2,000 Covid deaths in south Essex since last March when the pandemic hit the UK.

Southend has the highest death toll with 607, followed by Basildon with 503.

There have been 438 coronavirus-related deaths in Thurrock, 366 in Castle Point and 268 in Rochford.