Two more lives have been lost to coronavirus in Ayrshire bringing the total to four deaths across the region within seven days.

Yesterday, the first two deaths in months were reported.

The deaths announced today come as positive cases surged by 25 per cent in 24 hours.

There were 95 new positive cases in NHS Ayrshire and Arran in the latest update, bringing the region's weekly total to 485.

Three of the deaths were of people in East Ayrshire, including one of those announced today. The other death was of an individual in South Ayrshire.

The 'circuit break' lockdown put in place in Scotland last week is “firmly rooted in scientific advice”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Pointing to guidance published by Sage on Monday night, which showed advisers saying that a short lockdown should be brought in to stem the spread of the virus, the First Minister said: “We’re trying to strike a careful balance but also to make sure that we are doing what is needed to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Last week, the First Minister announced strict measures on hospitality businesses, particularly in the central belt of the country, for just over two weeks, to reduce the number of places where people are meeting and therefore reduce the spread of the virus.

The First Minister called for solidarity for those asked to self-isolate after coming into contact with coronavirus.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We should all think about if we can help somebody else if they have to self-isolate.

“If you haven’t done this already, now is the time to be able to speak to friends, family or neighbours to make sure that you have a way of getting in touch with each other if you need to.

“One of the things that we’ve seen throughout this pandemic is the extent to which people have reached out to help their loved ones, their neighbours and their wider communities.

“Self-isolation over these next few months is going to be a really important way in which we can all show that sense of solidarity and help to break the chains of transmission.”