The number of people dying from coronavirus in Ayrshire has increased, according to data from the National Records of Scotland published earlier today.

North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire both saw increases in the number of people who sadly died as a result of the virus, whereas South Ayrshire saw a decline.

The data show that between February 8-14, 18 people in North Ayrshire died where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. That is double the figure of last week, when nine people were reported to have died.

In East Ayrshire the increase was not so high. Fifteen people died, an increase of one from February 1-7.

In South Ayrshire, two people were reported as having lost their lives due to the virus, down from four the previous week.

In total, 9,053 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the statistics.

In the week 8-14 February, 323 deaths were registered that mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, this is a decrease of 54 deaths from the previous week.

Over 80 per cent of deaths this week occurred in hospital, representing 266 deaths.

42 deaths occurred in care homes and 15 at home or in non-institutional settings.

The statisticians said that in the last three weeks, deaths in all locations have started to fall, with the fastest decrease occurring in care homes which has seen a 62 per cent reduction in deaths in a three week period.

Care home deaths have fallen to a level last seen around the end of October.

For the first time since November, deaths of those aged 85 and over are now lower than deaths among 75-84 year olds.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services at NRS, said: “Over 9,000 deaths have now been registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate and they represent loss and grief for families and communities across the country.

“Today’s statistics show some signs of progress, for the third consecutive week, we have seen a welcome reduction in the number of deaths. Deaths in care homes over the last three weeks have fallen at a faster rate than deaths in other locations. The number of deaths in the 85 and over age group have also fallen more steeply than younger age groups.

“There were 146 excess deaths across all locations in the last week, 12 percent above average for this time of year.

"This figure remains high, but has fallen steadily in recent weeks.”