NICOLA Sturgeon has said the R number for coronavirus in Scotland has risen above 1, indicating the virus is spreading in some areas.

At the daily briefing, the First Minister said the provisional figure could be as high as 1.3 after many months when the number was below 1, and the virus was in retreat.

However she said that the R, or rate of reproduction, number was less reliable when the overall number of cases was small.

When the prevalence across the country is low, the R number will be disproportionately affected by outbreaks such as that in Aberdeen, she said.

Government modelling suggests that as of August 7 there were around 250 infectious people in Scotland, but this does not include all of the cases in the recent Aberdeen outbreak.

The fall in the R number to below 1 was a critical factor in easing the lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon said 26 of 47 new coronavirus cases reported over the last 24 hours were in the Grampian area.

A total of 300 cases have been identified in Grampian since July 26, with 182 of these likely to be associated with an ongoing cluster linked to Aberdeen pubs. 

Ms Sturgeon said 961 contacts have been identified from those cases.

Aberdeenshire Council has now taken the decision to delay the reopening of a primary school in Peterhead while a household cluster is being investigated.

Meanwhile, a cluster of eight positive cases is also being probed in Glasgow.

This includes some pupils who go to Bannerman High School in Baillieston, although none of them had attended school.

Elsewhere, a cluster in Orkney is also under investigation, with officials examining whether it is linked to the Aberdeen outbreak.

Ms Sturgeon said the clusters "should not cause undue alarm". 

She added: "Clusters of this kind, I'm afraid to say are inevitable."

Referring to the R number, the First Minister said: "The upper estimate last week could have been as high as 1.3.

"Now this is, possibly in large part, due to the inclusion of the Aberdeen outbreak in some of the models that we consider. 

"Let me stress again: when the prevalence across the country is low, the R number will be disproportionately affected by outbreaks on the scale of the one in Aberdeen."

She added: "While it is important to keep all of this, especially the R number, in context and in perspective, it is nevertheless a further reminder of the fragility of our position, and of the need for all of us to do all of the things that are required to keep the virus under control."