Over the course of the past 19 months, more than 1,000 people have died in Ayrshire where the novel coronavirus was mentioned on their death certificate, the latest statistics from the National Records of Scotland show.

And the number of people dying from the virus each week has increased for the fourth week in a row.

There were 27 Covid deaths in the Ayrshire and Arran health board area between September 27 and October 3 according to the NRS data.

That's up from 18 deaths recorded the week before and takes the total number of people dead in Ayrshire and Arran across the course of the pandemic so far to 1,006. 

13 of those who died were from South Ayrshire, 10 from East Ayrshire, and four from North Ayrshire.

The total Ayrshire death tally makes up nine per cent of all Covid deaths in the country since March 2020.

The increase in deaths follows record high number of cases in September with thousands of positive tests being returned weekly in September.

However, the number of cases being recorded each week has now dropped significantly, by around half in most Ayrshire areas.

There are still around 400-500 cases being recorded in each of the council areas each week, but it's hoped that this figure will continue to fall.

As of October 3, 11,134 deaths have been registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

In the week September 27 to October 3, 141 deaths were registered that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, 26 fewer deaths than last week.

The figures show 22 deaths were of people aged under 65, 30 were aged 65-74 and there were 89 deaths in people aged 75 or over. 84 deaths were male, and 57 were female.

Glasgow City (17 deaths), City of Edinburgh (15 deaths), and South Ayrshire (13 deaths) had the highest numbers of deaths at council level. In total, 28 out of Scotland’s 32 council areas had at least one death last week.

Nine Covid-related deaths occurred at home or in non-institutional settings, 109 deaths were in hospitals and there were 23 deaths in care homes.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said: “The latest figures show that last week there were 141 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This is 26 fewer deaths than last week.”

“The number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in this week was 1,242, which is 196, or 19 per cent, more than the five year average.”