The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in the north-east has dropped significantly in the last week.
In the week beginning January 4, updated figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed 36 people in NHS Grampian’s area had the virus listed on the death certificate.
However, in the most recent data to be released, the number of deaths has dropped almost 45%, to 20.
Of the latest deaths, 11 of those were in Aberdeenshire and nine were in the city.
The latest figures, released by the NRS covers the period between January 11 and January 17.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 430 deaths linked to the virus in the region.
Of those 220 were in the city, 187 in Aberdeenshire and 23 in Moray.
This week saw the first deaths in Shetland since early November, with two recorded this week bringing the total to 10.
In the Highlands, one more death was recorded, bringing the total to 142.
There were no deaths in Orkney or the Western Isles linked to Covid last week.
The NRS figures are different from those published daily by the Scottish Government as it includes all deaths where Covid-19, including suspected cases, is mentioned on a person’s death certificate.
The latest figures released by the NRS cover up to January 17, and link 7,448 deaths to the virus in Scotland.
Of those, 368 were in the last week – down 23 on the previous week
Two thirds (66%) of the deaths were people aged 75 and over, with the majority of all deaths occurring in hospitals.
The number of deaths recorded during this period is 34% higher than the average for the same seven-days between 2015 and 2019.
Included alongside this week’s statistics is a provisional estimate of excess deaths in Scotland, with the figure the highest it has been in 80 years.
According to the NRS, the number of deaths in 2020 was 11% higher in 2020 than the average of the previous five years.
Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services, said: “Each statistic represents heartbreak for families and friends across the country.
“Assessing trends in death registrations is difficult at this time of year due to the impact of registration office closures over the Christmas period and the increased registration activity which occurs in the following weeks. Our analysis looking at deaths by date of occurrence provides a clearer picture of the trend and shows that deaths began to increase in mid-December and this has continued through the early part of January.
This week’s report provides a provisional estimate of the number of excess deaths for the full year 2020. Deaths were 11% higher in 2020 than the average of the previous five years, representing the highest level of excess deaths since 1940.”