Coronavirus deaths in Scotland have risen above 6,000, with Health Secretary Jeane Freeman warning further restrictions may be needed in the Western Isles after a spike in cases.
Giving the Scottish Government’s daily briefing on Friday, Ms Freeman said the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 6,040.
That came after a further 70 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours. Case numbers also continue to rise, with 1,155 positive tests in the past day.
Ms Freeman said the Scottish Government is “urgently examining” a rise in cases in the Western Isles, with a shift to Level 4 – the highest tier of restrictions – possible.
She said six new cases were reported there on Friday and nine on Thursday.
A separate outbreak on Barra recently pushed the island into Level 4.
As a result of the spikes, the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway has now reached capacity.
A decision on the region’s alert level will be made on Friday, but the Health Secretary urged people in the area to take extra caution now.
“I would urge people to please not wait,” she said. “Please stay at home whenever possible and help your local National Health Service through this.”
Ms Freeman added that around 96% of care home residents have now received a first vaccine dose in Scotland.
She said 68% of people over 80 had received their first dose.
The Scottish Government is “well on track” to hit its vaccination target of all over-80s by “early next week”, she said.
Two more mass vaccination centres will open in Scotland from Monday in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, she added.
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