Coronavirus has claimed another 17 lives in Scotland with 1712 new cases recorded.
The latest daily figures were revealed at the First Minister’s daily briefing.
The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 2670.
Nicola Sturgeon said 52,615 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 50,903 the previous day.
The daily test positivity rate is 9.2%, down from 9.7% on the previous day.
Of the new cases, 584 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 457 in Lanarkshire, 192 in Lothian, and 151 in Ayrshire and Arran.
There are 928 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 55 in 24 hours. Of these patients, 74 are in intensive care, a rise of one.
The R number in Scotland – the average number of people each person with Covid-19 goes on to infect with the virus – is “perhaps as high” as 1.5, Sturgeon said.
The First Minister said this, coupled with the latest daily statistics, showed why temporary restrictions on the hospitality sector had been extended for another week.
Speaking about the Scottish Government’s plans for tackling Covid-19 through the winter, which will be published on Friday, Sturgeon said this would outline a new testing strategy as well as a new regional tiered approach to tackling the virus.
Scotland already has the target of increasing testing capacity to 65,000 a day by the end of this year.
Sturgeon said to achieve that at least 10,000 more Scottish tests would need to be analysed by UK Government Lighthouse labs while the NHS laboratory capacity will increased by an additional 22,000 tests a day.
To achieve this, Sturgeon said three new regional hubs were being set up in Grampian, Lothian and Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Sturgeon said: “Contractors are already carrying out building work for these hubs, installation of equipment is progressing at pace and so is staff recruitment.
“We expect these to be up and running in the next few weeks.”
She said the new hubs would undertake all of the routine testing for care homes and that would help get results back “more quickly then we sometimes do now”.
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