The number of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths at a hospital trust is nearing 600, latest figures from NHS England show.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust only recently passed 500 reported Covid deaths, but now the trust is nearing the next milestone of 600 after a series of backdated Covid deaths were reported this week.

Over the last five days (January 13-17), 50 Covid deaths have been reported by the NHS at the west Hertfordshire trust, which runs Watford General Hospital.

Deaths are usually reported by the NHS within a week, however out of the 50 reported in the last five days, 29 were between December 22 and 29, while one of the 50 deaths occurred back on November 5.

Throughout the pandemic, we have known some deaths can take longer to be reported due to a delay in registration.

The remaining 20 deaths all occurred in January.

The table below shows the number of coronavirus related deaths recorded by the trust by month (a total of 594). Deaths are recorded of patients who died within 28 days of receiving a positive test result.

Although coronavirus infection rates are reducing across Hertfordshire, with 639 new coronavirus cases reported in Hertfordshire on today's government dashboard today the lowest for more than a month, Watford General Hospital is under severe pressure looking after a record-breaking number of coronavirus patients, as well as non-Covid patients.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which also runs Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City Hospitals, was caring for 347 Covid patients as of 8am on January 12, with is 201 more than any one during the spring peak.

It's important to remember many of these patients are likely to have contracted the virus around Christmas time, and because infection rates remained high in early January, more hospital admissions are likely due to a lag in how long it takes someone to become ill enough to be hospitalised.

Nationally, a further 631 people who tested positive for coronavirus and died in hospital in England, was reported today, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 60,921.

Patients were aged between 29 and 103. All except 31, aged between 46 and 93, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths, which included three at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, were between November 5 and January 16.

Earlier today, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said someone is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus in the country "every 30 seconds".

Sir Simon told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "The facts are very clear and I’m not going to sugar-coat them, hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.

"Since Christmas Day we’ve seen another 15,000 increase in the inpatients in hospitals across England, that’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.

"Staggeringly, every thirty seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus."

But he also shed some positive light on the speed of the vaccination programme, saying 140 jabs are being delivered nationally "every minute".