Fifteen more people have died with coronavirus in Scotland while the country has confirmed a record-high 1429 new infections overnight.
The 1429 fresh cases amount to 16.4% of newly-tested Scots, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 537 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 327 are in Lanarkshire, 239 are in Lothian, and 92 are in Ayrshire and Arran.
The remaining cases are spread across eight other health board areas.
Total confirmed cases of the virus now stands at 42,685 since the start of the pandemic.
The official death toll in Scotland is now 2572, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is more than 4300.
According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 570 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. Out of those, 49 patients are in intensive care.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s press briefing, Sturgeon said half of the 15 deaths were people under the age of 80. A small number were also under 60.
She said: “Please do not ever think that this virus only poses a risk to the lives of the very elderly.
“It poses a risk to all of us and I’m asking everybody again to take and treat that risk extremely seriously.”
The First Minister also revealed that at least 180 people in Scotland who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last month have reported a recent trip to Blackpool.
An incident management team has been set up to deal with those who have travelled between the seaside resort and Scotland.
Sturgeon advised those who were looking to travel to Blackpool not to do so, especially to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match in a pub.
On Thursday, the Scottish Parliament will review the restrictions imposed on household visits three weeks ago.
Sturgeon said she will make a statement at the virtual meeting, but warned: “As you might expect, we are unlikely, very unlikely, to announce any changes or easing of the current rules on household gatherings.”
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