More than 700 people have been traced across Scotland after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive for Covid-19, with fewer than two people traced on average for each confirmed case so far.
The First Minister said some “very initial” data published on Wednesday on NHS Scotland’s new Test and Protect system showed 681 cases were reported where an individual tested positive for Covid-19 between the day the system launched on May 28 and June 7.
Contact tracing has only been completed for 481 cases and will be “ongoing” in others, the First Minister confirmed, with 741 contacts traced so far – at a rate of 1.5 people contact traced per person on average.
The First Minister added: “Contact tracing has already been completed for 481 cases and will be ongoing in others and in total 741 contacts have so far been traced.
“I would remind everyone that if you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should book a test immediately and follow the advice on self-isolation.”
She added this data would become “much more detailed” in the weeks ahead.
It comes as new figures reveal that, as of June 7, a total of 4,000 coronavirus deaths was recorded across Scotland, with 89 recorded since May 31, the sixth weekly drop in a row.
Test and Protect is NHS Scotland’s initiative, aimed at preventing a second wave of Covid-19 by ensuring those who come into contact with it self-isolate.
Under the scheme, anyone with a new continuous cough, temperature or loss or change of taste or smell can visit NHS Inform to book a test at a mobile or drive-thru testing centre, or order a home testing kit.
In the event of a positive test, people will be asked whom they have been in close contact with, including family, anyone they’ve had direct face-to-face contact with and anyone within two metres for more than 15 minutes.
NHS contact tracers will then be in touch with those who have come into contact with a diagnosed person.
The number of deaths has fallen for the sixth week in a row, with 89 deaths the lowest weekly total recorded since late March.
The latest figures released by NRS show deaths involving Covid-19 account for 8% of all deaths, which has steadily reduced from a high of 36% in the week of April 20 and from 12% in the week of May 31.
Meanwhile, fewer than half (47%) of all registered deaths involving Covid-19 in the week of June 7 occurred in care homes, down from a peak of 60% in the week of May 3, but the majority of deaths still take place in these settings.
This compares to 46% of deaths in care homes and 7% of deaths in home or non-institutional settings.
The number of deaths in care homes also fell for a sixth week in a row, by 27 to 42.
Commenting on the latest NRS figures, Nicola Sturgeon said they were “far higher” than anyone would like”.
She added: “The weekly number has fallen for six weeks in a row, less than one seventh of the peak level.
“That progress is significant but we must take great care to ensure it is sustained.
“If it is I hope we will be able to announce some more relaxing of measures.”
That progress is significant but we must take great care to ensure it is sustained.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
On Monday Ms Sturgeon said she was “optimistic” that current strict measures in place to combat the spread of Covid-19 across the country could be further eased from Thursday June 18.
Beer gardens, small weddings and professional sports could be among the things to return to Scotland from next week, if the next phase of the government’s “route map” out of lockdown is given the go-ahead.
A further 12 people have died across Tayside and Fife in the past week as a result of Covid-19.
A regional breakdown of the figures show there has been a total of 490 across Tayside and Fife since the pandemic began.
A total of 298 deaths have been recorded in Tayside and 193 in Fife.
Every death from this virus a ‘tragedy’
Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services at NRS, said every death from the virus is a “tragedy”.
He added: These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland (HPS), are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the Covid-19 virus across Scotland.
“Across Scotland the number of Covid-19-related deaths registered in the week ending June 7 was 89 – the lowest weekly total since late March.
“Our aim is to ensure that our statistical publication provides information that is as useful as possible and adds value to the understanding of how the virus is spreading throughout the country.
“We will continue to review and develop these statistics as new information is made available.”