Coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotland may be starting to decline, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
She said there is “early evidence” lockdown restrictions are working and starting to reduce case numbers, as she announced 752 new cases and four new deaths of coronavirus patients recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours.
The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 5,709.
The daily test positivity rate is 8.6%, up from 7.4% on Sunday, when 1,195 new cases were recorded.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said: “We think we may have some cautious grounds for optimism that admissions to hospital are starting to tail off slightly.”
There are 2,016 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, up six in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 151 are in intensive care, a fall of six in the same period.
Ms Sturgeon urged Scots to keep sticking to lockdown regulations, saying positive signs can only be maintained if adherence to the rules continues.
She said: “We are seeing some early evidence that these restrictions are working, which is positive.
“We think they are starting to reduce case numbers and while it will take a bit of time yet to feed properly into admissions to hospital and ICU, we also hope that we might be starting to see some early positive signs too.”
She also gave an update on the vaccination rollout in Scotland, saying 415,402 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and the Scottish Government is on track to meet its target to vaccinate everyone over the age of 70, by mid-February.
Ms Sturgeon said 95% of residents in adult care homes and 95% of health workers have now been vaccinated, with 46% of all people over the age of 80 given a jab, up by 9% since Friday.
From Monday, Scots aged between 70 and 79 will receive letters inviting them for their inoculation.
“It’s in your interests, and obviously in everybody else’s interest for you, to accept the appointment and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the First Minister said.
“Today therefore marks a further important milestone in a vaccination programme which is making good progress and we remain on track to vaccinate everyone over the age of 70 by the middle of February.”
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