Coronavirus in Scotland: 500 new Covid cases and 24 further deaths recorded on Thursday

Scotland has recorded 24 deaths from Covid-19 and 500 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Scottish Government figures show.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive within the previous 28 days – to 7,398.

Speaking ahead of First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said the daily test positivity rate is 2.5% – down from 2.6% the previous day.

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There are 726 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, down 24 in 24 hours, and 69 patients are in intensive care, down one.

The First Minister said the R number, the average rate at which a person with Covid-19 infects others, is estimated to remain below one.

Ms Sturgeon said: “There is little doubt at the moment that things are heading in the right direction.

“The number of cases is falling, the numbers in hospital are falling and vaccination programme is progressing extremely well.”

She said there is “much to feel optimistic about” but urged people to continue with caution and comply with stay-at-home regulations and other mitigation measures.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Giving an update on the vaccination programme, she said 1,688,808 people have received a first dose as of Wednesday morning – up by 26,729 – and 100,058 have received their second dose.

She added 95% of people aged 65-69 have had the initial inoculation, as have 37% of people aged 60-64, 31% of 55-59 year olds, and 26% of those aged 50-54.

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