The latest data from Public Health Scotland show that there were 67 cases of coronavirus recorded in South Ayrshire from February 13-19.

That’s down from 102 the previous week and represents a seven day rate per 100,000 of population of 59.5, and is the lowest weekly total since the first seven days of October (66).

The test positivity rate is currently 3.5 per cent, which is below the 5 per cent benchmark the World Health Organisation uses to classify an outbreak as under control. The test positivity rate Scotland-wide however is slightly above that mark, at 5.2 per cent on Monday, February 22.

There are seventeen neighbourhoods in South Ayrshire that are currently classified as having suppressed cases, meaning two or less cases has been recorded in the latest week.

Castlehill and Kincaidston, Barassie, Lochside, Braehead and Whitletts, Heathfield, and Carrick north are currently the worst affected areas, with seven, six, six, six, and five cases each, which puts them in the 100-199 bracket of virus prevalence per 100,000 of population that PHS uses.

The Belmont and Holmston and Forehill neighbourhoods are in the 50-99 bracket. Dundonal, Loans and Symington are in the 1-49 bracket.

The number of people dying from the virus in South Ayrshire is also down, with two people reported as having lost their lives to the virus from February 8-14 according to the latest data available from the National Records of Scotland.

The good progress looks set to continue, with a study led by PHS finding that in the fourth week after the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, hospitalisations were reduced by 85 per cent and 94 per cent for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs respectively.

Lead researcher Prof Aziz Sheikh said the results were “very, very” impressive and both vaccines were working “spectacularly”, adding: “These results are very encouraging and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave an update on the vaccination programme yesterday, saying 1,445,488 people have received the first dose, an increase of 13,546 from Sunday.

She said that that’s lower than usual, but that was down to supply levels and that she expects the number of daily vaccinations to be ramped up again to the levels seen earlier this month in the next few weeks.

As of last week more than 34 per cent of the population in the Ayrshire and Arran health board area had received their first dose of the vaccine.

The First Minister said they are well on course to have all over 65s vaccinated by early March and that they are rolling out the vaccine to JCVI priority group number six.