A further 50 people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 103,305 – a jump of 933 in the past 24 hours.
The official death toll in Scotland now stands at 4039, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 5991 – which takes into account this week’s additional deaths.
According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 984 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – an increase of 12 overnight. Out of those, 52 patients are in intensive care.
Speaking to MSPs on Thursday at First Minister’s Questions, Sturgeon said that the latest data showed the R number – the average number of people infected by each person with Covid-19 – had “fallen further below one”.
She said it showed that the restrictions in place are “having the desired effect”.
However, with 16 local authority areas moving down a level on Friday in Scotland’s multi-tier system, including the 11 areas leaving the toughest level four restrictions, she stressed the need for “caution”.
The First Minister also revealed that a total of 5330 people had received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Vaccinations took place in all health board areas across Scotland, apart from Shetland and the Western Isles.
Weekly updates will be published, showing how many Scots have been given the injections, from next Wednesday, the First Minister added.
She told MSPs: “We can all be hopeful the start of vaccinations does mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic for Scotland.
“But the coming months will still be really difficult and all of us should do everything we can to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.”