The weekly coronavirus death toll in Scotland has fallen for the first time, figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show.
There were 523 deaths relating to Covid-19 registered between April 27 and May 3, a decrease of 135 from the previous week of April 20-26, according to the NRS.
A total of 2,795 deaths involving the virus had been recorded as of May 3, with the proportion of coronavirus deaths recorded in care homes rising on last week to 59%.
The figures are published weekly and account for all fatalities registered in Scotland where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.
#NRSStats show as of 3rd May a total of 2,795 deaths have been registered in #Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. https://t.co/Ku0qgjLAn2 pic.twitter.com/7vthEZfAV5
— NatRecordsScot (@NatRecordsScot) May 6, 2020
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government using Health Protection Scotland (HPS) figures because they include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.
Of the deaths involving coronavirus registered in the week of April 27 to May 3, 59% were in care homes, compared to 52% the previous week.
The figures show 37% of registered deaths involving Covid-19 were in hospitals and 4% were at home or non-institutional settings, compared to 42% and 6% the previous week.
The total number of all deaths registered in Scotland from April 27 to May 3 was 1,673 – 55% more than the average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years, which was 1,079.
The previous week of April 20 to April 26 was nearly 68% higher than the five-year weekly average.
Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in 83% of the 594 excess deaths, down from 85% the previous week.
Three-quarters of registered deaths involving Covid-19 to date were people aged 75 or over.
Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services at NRS, said: “These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland, are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the Covid-19 virus across Scotland.
“These latest figures show that for the first time, since reporting of registered deaths relating to Covid-19 began for week beginning March 16, there has been a reduction in Covid-19-related deaths from the previous week – down from 658 to 523 Covid-19-related deaths.
“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.”