SCOTLAND has recorded the first new deaths from coronavirus for the first time in three days, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Yesterday, the First Minister said she was "optimistic" that Scotland will be able to lift more lockdown restrictions on June 18 after statistics showed two consecutive days where no deaths were recorded.

Ms Sturgeon said that Covid-19 was "in retreat" across Scotland.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Nicola Sturgeon 'optimistic' over easing of lockdown next week

Today, she confirmed that seven deaths have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.

Ms Sturgeon said that the news is "not what we would have wanted to hear" but added that "it's not a surprise either" as a weekend lag was expected.

She added that the statistics showed a "clear downward trend in the number of people losing their lives to this virus".

Tomorrow, the National Records of Scotland (NRS) will publish its weekly figures which include confirmed and suspected coronavirus deaths form all settings including care homes.

Last week, the NRS data showed the number of weekly deaths has now fallen for a fifth consecutive week.

Speaking at her daily briefing, the First Minister said: "After two consecutive days of reporting zero deaths, today's figure of seven is of course not what we would have wanted to hear, but I think it is important to stress it is not a surprise either.

"We have consistently said we know there is a weekend lag in registration of deaths, as the numbers we report on Tuesdays are usually higher than the numbers we report on Sundays and Mondays.

"So today's figure, though an increase on the last two days, is nevertheless a further indication of a clear downward trend in the number of people who are losing their lives to this virus and that of course is clearly welcome."

Speaking during Carers' Week, Nicola Sturgeon highlighted the role of unpaid carers, saying the pandemic had "demonstrated again the importance of what you do".

The First Minister went on to reveal initial data from the Scottish Government's Test and Protect contact-tracing system will be published on Wednesday.

That will include how many positive cases of Covid-19 have been identified through the scheme, and how many people have had contacts traced.

Ms Sturgeon said at this stage the data provided would be at a national level, though she said regional data would be disclosed in the weeks ahead.
She also stressed anyone with symptoms of the virus should "immediately" book a coronavirus test.