The north-east has recorded its worst week for Covid deaths since the pandemic began.
The latest figures released by the National Records of Scotland show 44 deaths linked to the virus were reported in NHS Grampian’s area last week.
The previous peak had been in the middle of April 2020, which saw the deaths of 43 people.
The latest figures cover the period between January 18 and January 24, and include all deaths where Covid-19, including suspected cases, is mentioned on a person’s death certificate.
The breakdown reveals of those deaths, 27 were in Aberdeen, 14 in Aberdeenshire and three in Moray, bringing the total for the region since the beginning of the outbreak to 476.
The data also shows NHS Highlands has reported 17 deaths in the week ending January 24. which is the highest since the week beginning April 20.
There was also another death in Shetland. No new deaths were recorded in the Western Isles or Orkney.
Across the country, 7,902 deaths have been recorded where the virus was mentioned on the death certificate. This includes 448 from last week.
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.
More than 70% of the deaths last week were people aged 75 and over, however, 14% involved people under the age of 65.
Five people, four men and one woman, aged between 15 and 44 died last week.
The number of deaths recorded during this period is 12 % higher than the average for the same seven-days between 2015 and 2019.
Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services, said: “Each statistic represents heartbreak for families and friends across the country.
“These latest figures show that the week ending 24 January has the highest number of Covid-19 related deaths registered since the week ending 3 May 2020.”
The news comes as the north-east saw the number of Covid cases more than half compared to the first half of January.