The number of daily Covid-19 deaths in Scotland has hit the highest level in more than seven months.
The latest statistics published by the Scottish Government show 50 coronavirus deaths and 3,667 cases in the past 24 hours.
It is the largest rise in deaths announced in one day since February 23.
While Public Health Scotland figures now record a rise of 207 deaths on March 3, this includes cases that had not previously been identified.
A total of 8,514 people have now died in Scotland with the virus according to the daily measure, though figures from the National Records of Scotland which also record probable coronavirus fatalities puts the true figure at 10,826.
Writing on Twitter, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the rise was a reminder of the need for “continued care”.
She said: “Cases continue to fall in (Scotland) but it always takes time for that to be followed by a fall in the numbers in hospital/ICU or, sadly, dying.
“Today’s number of deaths reminds us of the risks of this virus and the need for continued care.
“My condolences are with all those grieving loss.”
Friday’s figures show the daily test positivity rate is 8.5%, up from 8% the previous day.
A total of 1,011 people were in hospital with confirmed Covid-19, down 46 on the previous day, with 79 patients in intensive care, down seven.
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