Coronavirus deaths in care homes across Scotland are at their lowest rate since August, according to official figures.
National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures show that between Monday March 1 and Sunday March 7, 141 deaths were registered that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.
That is a reduction of 89 deaths from the previous week.
Hospitals saw 84% of the deaths over this week, representing 119 deaths, 14 deaths occurred in care homes – accounting for 10%, eight at home or in non-institutional settings and one in another institution.
This is the lowest rate recorded in care homes since last March, apart from one week in August when there were two deaths.
Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said: “Almost a year ago NRS began to produce these statistics in response to the spread of Coronavirus.
“Behind these statistics are people who have suffered loss and my thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this virus.
“For the sixth consecutive week, we have seen a welcome reduction in the number of deaths.
“We now have the lowest number of weekly deaths since the week of October 19-25.
“In recent weeks we have seen a decrease in the number of deaths occurring in care homes and amongst the oldest age groups in our society.
“This trend is continuing, with the latest statistics showing that the over-75 age groups now account for just over half of Covid-19 related deaths, when six weeks ago they accounted for almost three-quarters of deaths.
“Our report also shows that deaths from all causes are 3% above average for this time of year, representing a continuing fall in the number of excess deaths.”
NRS data shows 9,725 deaths have been registered where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, as of Sunday.
Meanwhile, Scotland has recorded the deaths of 20 coronavirus patients and 691 new cases in the past 24 hours.
The First Minister told MSPs on Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee that the number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the disease had now risen to 7,461.
The daily test positivity rate is 3.1%, Ms Sturgeon said.
She also told the committee that by 8.30am on Wednesday a total of 1,809,158 Scots had received their first dose of the vaccine, an increase of 19,781 on the previous day’s total.
Other figures on the number of people in hospital will be available later in the day, the First Minister said.