No coronavirus deaths were registered in NHS Ayrshire and Arran last week for the first

time since the outbreak claimed a life.

National Records of Scotland published the latest data on the pandemic last week and the health board’s top doctor is ‘keeping a close eye’ on local data in preparation of a further spread of the virus.

As of July 5, there had been a total of 293 deaths registered in Ayrshire where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The first mention of the virus in a registered death certificate was the week beginning March 16.

Although no registered lives lost have been related to

coronavirus in East Ayrshire since June 15, and in South Ayrshire since June 22, there was still a case in North Ayrshire the week before last (ending June 28).

NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Medical Director, Doctor Crawford McGuffie, said the downward trend in deaths was encouraging and is likely the result of a reduction in number of people being infected.

He told the Chronicle: “We believe social distancing measures, along with recommendations for shielding and isolation of symptomatic people, have significantly slowed down the spread of the virus in Ayrshire and Arran.”

The numbers of people who have been hospitalised has also reduced.

Dr McGuffie also noted the significant impact bereavement has had on individuals, families and communities.

He said: “Our communities have been incredible in what they have achieved through lockdown and other measures and we cannot thank them enough.

“They have saved many lives through their commitment and supported all health and care staff in their work.

“However, we need to be mindful that as these measures are lifted, the virus may have an opportunity to spread again which could result in an increase in cases.”

He added: “We are keeping a close eye on our local data and continue to support our workforce to prepare for this possibility.”