Scotland recorded 72 confirmed or suspected coronavirus deaths in the week to January 9, which is a rise of 27 on the previous week, according to the latest figures.

A total of 12,543 deaths have now been registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, statistics published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) on Wednesday show.

In the week of January 3 to 9, there were 12 deaths in people aged under 65, 12 in the 65-74 age group and 48 deaths in those aged 75 or over.

There were 49 deaths in hospitals, 18 in care homes and five at home or in a non-institutional setting, with 32 of those who died male and 40 female.

The highest number of deaths occurred in the Fife Council area with 10, while there were eight in Edinburgh and seven in Glasgow.

Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services at NRS, said: “The latest figures show that last week there were 72 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This is 27 more deaths than the previous week.

“The number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in this week was 1,208, 13% lower than the five-year average.

“Statistics based on death registrations can be volatile at this time of year due to a combination of registration office opening hours, how public holidays fall, and decisions people take regarding registering a death during this period.

“Care needs to be taken when interpreting data for the first and last few weeks of the year. The real trend will become clearer in the coming weeks.”

The NRS report said daily Covid deaths fell through most of December, reaching their lowest level of six deaths per day in mid-December, but have risen “very slightly” since then to eight deaths per day on average by the end of the month.

The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.