Scotland has recorded its highest daily death total from coronavirus since May.
Nicola Sturgeon announced 28 deaths at Wednesday’s daily briefing, with 1,739 new cases of Covid-19 across the country.
The daily test positivity rate is 9.7%, down from 11.4% on the previous day.
Hospital cases have risen by 49 to 873, while 73 people are in ICU, up three on yesterday.
Meanwhile, weekly figures show a total of 75 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between October 12 and 18, an increase of 50 from the previous week.
It means that a total of 4,376 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).
Some 58 of these deaths occurred in hospitals, 12 in care homes and five at home or in a non-institutional setting.
The statistics are published weekly and account for all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because they include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.
Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland which saw the closure of pubs and restaurants in the central belt and a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew elsewhere are to be extended until November 2.
Ms Sturgeon said that while there is “cautious optimism” that the restrictions are working, Scottish ministers were told by advisers that it would not be safe to lift the measures from Monday.
The First Minister said: “The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on November 2.”
A restriction against gatherings in people’s homes will also continue until November 2.
The Scottish Government will publish the tiered system of restrictions on Friday, which will go to parliament for debate and vote next week.
Ms Sturgeon said she understands the extension of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland is “harsh” financially and emotionally.
She said: “I know all of this is really unwelcome and I know that these restrictions are harsh.
“They are harsh financially for many individuals and businesses, and they are harsh emotionally for all of us.
“I want to stress again that none of these decisions are being taken lightly – this is all about trying to save lives and minimise the health damage that we know this virus is capable of doing.”
The First Minister said the Scottish Government believes the restrictions, which have curbed the operations of hospitality businesses, are having a positive effect.
She said: “Even allowing for today’s figures, we think that we might be starting to see a reduction in the rate at which new cases are increasing.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe