THE number of deaths in Scotland from coronavirus has fallen to its lowest level since the outbreak began, according to official figures.

The National Records of Scotland said Covid-19 had been implicated in just six fatalities in the week to July 19 after three months of constant decline.

It was the lowest loss since the first week in which deaths were recorded in Scotland, when 11 people died in March.

At its peak, in mid-April, the virus claimed 661 lives in Scotland in a single week.

NRS said that in total, Covid had now been recorded on 4,193 death certificates north of the border as either a confirmed or suspected factor.

At the Scottish Government daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said the figures showed Covid was being “driven down to very low levels” in Scotland, with 12 consecutive weeks of falling fatalities.

However she said the numbers were also a painful reminder that more than 4000 “unique and irreplaceable” individuals had now died from the disease in Scotland.

She also confirmed there had been no overnight deaths from the disease.

Covid accounted for just 0.6 per cent of all deaths last week, down from a peak of 36%.

Coronavirus deaths in care homes fell from seven to three last week, while deaths in hospitals fell from five to three. 

The number of deaths per week from Covid in care homes has been running ahead of those in hospital since the week ending April 27.

Last week, the cumulative total was 1,950 deaths in care homes, or 46.5%, and 1,945 deaths on wards, or 46.4%.

The NRS tally includes cases where suspected Covid-19 was recorded as a factor on the death certificate, as well as Covid cases confirmed by a laboratory.

It is considered more accurate than the daily running total produced by Health Protection Scotland (HPS).

The NRS cumulative figure was 68.3% higher than the 2,491 deaths recorded by HPS as of July 12.

At the Covid peak in April, the total number of deaths was 80% above average, with 878 so-called ‘excess deaths’ in a single week.

The total number of deaths from all causes in Scotland from July 12 to 19 was 1028, or 32 or 3.2% above the five-year average of 996.

Pete Whitehouse, NRS Director of Statistical Services, said: “Today’s publication shows a continuing decline in the number of people dying from Covid-19.

"Since the peak week in mid-April, when 661 Covid related deaths were registered, the number of these deaths has thankfully declined for twelve consecutive weeks, to six in the latest week.

“National Records of Scotland will continue to work with Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) to monitor and understand the progress and impact of this virus across the country.”