Coronavirus: 53 more deaths while positive test rate falls

Another 45,000 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Scotland.

Another 53 people have died after being diagnosed with coronavirus in Scotland.

However, the proportion of tests returning a positive case has fallen below 5% of the first time since Christmas.

And another 45,000 have received their first dose of a vaccine – bringing the total to just over 694,000.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the positive test rate and the vaccine numbers provided “a small ray of sunshine” in the battle against Covid-19.

She said 98% of older care home residents had received the first dose of the vaccine, while more than 90% of those over the age of 80 had also been inoculated.

“The uptake rates we’re seeing, and I hope this continues as we get into the younger population groups, are way beyond anything I could ever have believed would be possible – way beyond what we see in the flu vaccine programme,” Sturgeon said.

“That’s testament to the willingness and the enthusiasm of people to come forward and be vaccinated for their own safety but also to be part of that collective effort that we need to have to beat this virus.”

The deaths announced on Thursday brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 6322.

However, the total including people who had Covid-19 added to their death certificate as a contributing factor is more than 8500.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Sturgeon said 183,418 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 182,269 the previous day.

The daily test positivity rate is 4.9%, down from 5.1% on the previous 24 hours.

Of the new cases, 339 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 190 in Lanarkshire, and 159 in Lothian.

There are 1812 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 53 in 24 hours, and 127 patients are in intensive care, down four.

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