The deaths of seven coronavirus patients have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, the highest rise since mid-June.
Nicola Sturgeon said the deaths, of people who first tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days, are a “very sharp reminder” of the danger of Covid-19.
The latest fatalities increase the overall death toll under that measure to 2,519.
Speaking at the coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said: “That figure of seven deaths is the highest I have had to report at one of these briefings since June 17.
“It is therefore a very sharp reminder that Covid is an extremely dangerous virus, as well as a highly infectious one.”
She added the latest National Records of Scotland figures published on Wednesday records 4,257 deaths from confirmed or suspected coronavirus up to Sunday September 27.
Of these, 10 were recorded in the previous week – five in hospital, four in care homes and one at home or in another non-institutional setting.
Ms Sturgeon added: “We, of course, should never think of these deaths as statistics, every single one of them represents the loss of a unique and irreplaceable individual.
“I want to send my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one, and that particularly includes those who have lost loved ones in the last few days.”
#NRSStats show as at 27th September a total of 4,257 deaths have been registered in #Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, 10 deaths were registered between 21st-27th September. https://t.co/ffoG5wN93q pic.twitter.com/PAdmXnKqOX— NatRecordsScot (@NatRecordsScot) September 30, 2020
She said Scotland has recorded 640 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, representing 10.3% of newly-tested individuals, down from 11.5% on Tuesday.
A total of 29,244 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 28,604 the previous day.
There are 137 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up 14 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 14 are in intensive care – down two from the revised figure of 16 for the previous day.
The First Minister also highlighted weekly figures showing a 60% increase in hospital admissions.
In the week to Friday September 26, 94 people were in hospital, up from 58 the previous week.
Know the rules and stop the spread ❌— Scottish Government (@scotgov) September 23, 2020
You can only socialise outdoors with one other household at a time, in a group of no more than 6 people. Limited exemptions apply.
Stick with it Scotland 💙 #WeAreScotland
Ms Sturgeon said it could be about a month before new restrictions introduced last week, which ban people from going into other’s homes, have an impact.
She said: “As night follows day, if we allow infections to continue to rise, they will go from younger people to older people, people in older, vulnerable groups will get sick, be admitted hospital and intensive care and die.
“And that’s the path this virus will take if we won’t get in its way and interrupt it.
“The measures we introduced last week, a month from now or thereabouts, should start to have an impact on the figures we are seeing, if we all stick to what we are being asked to do.”