More people are being treated for coronavirus in Scottish hospitals than at any other time in the pandemic.
And a total of 93 more Covid deaths have been recorded – the highest ever announced at a Scottish Government briefing.
Speaking on Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was a “distressingly high figure”, but highlighted that register offices were closed over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays.
She explained: “The numbers we report on a daily basis are deaths by the date the deaths were registered, not the date somebody died. They are reconciled later on by date of death.
“So, the high figure that we’ve seen today will undoubtedly include some people who died over the Christmas and New Year period, and the delay in registration because of the bank holidays means that their deaths are only being reported today.
“Just to be clear, it’s not more than 90 people who died yesterday. It will be more than 90 people who have died over a period of time.”
Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 146,024 – a jump of 2309 overnight.
According to NHS boards across Scotland, 1530 people are currently in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – an increase of 63 overnight. Out of those, 102 patients are in intensive care.
Sturgeon said: “This now does exceed the peak of April when we had 1520 Covid patients in hospital at any one time.
“So that really does underline the severity of the pressure that our hospitals are currently facing.”
The daily test positivity rate is 8.1%, down from the 11.3% reported on Thursday when 2649 cases were recorded.
Of the new cases reported, 692 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 390 are in Lanarkshire, 220 are in Lothian, and 192 are in Grampian.
The rest of the cases are spread out across ten other health board areas.
The death toll of those who had tested positive stands at 4872, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is at least 6686.