According to data from the National Records of Scotland, between January 11-17, 19 people in North Ayrshire died where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There were also 19 deaths recorded the week before that, making the past two weeks the most deadly in all of the pandemic for the area.

The highest number of deaths recorded during the first wave was 15, which was recorded on one occasion in April.

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in North Ayrshire is decreasing with 371 people confirmed as contracting the virus from January 10-16.

That’s down from 454 the week before and represents 275.3 weekly cases per 100,000 of the population.

Only Renfrewshire (287), North Lanarkshire (313.4) and Glasgow City (324.1) have higher rates of cases per 100,000.

Six neighbourhoods are now categorised in the highest tier of Public Health Scotland’s seven day positivity rate per 100,000. They are: Saltcoats North East (27 cases or 536.7 per 100,000), Fairlie and Rural (14 cases or 507.1), Irvine Central (16 cases or 496.4), Kilwinning Central and North (18 cases or 480), Irvine Bourtreehill (10 cases or 447), and Kilwinning Pennyburn (12 cases or 406.1)

Only Arran and Irvine Broomlands are categorised as having cases suppressed, with all other neighbourhoods having between 50-399 weekly cases per 100,000 of population.

The reduction in the number of people testing positive is a sign that the lockdown introduced on January 4 is having some effect. Though when it comes to hospitalisation and number of deaths we are likely to see figures remain the same or only lower slightly for a little while yet, as the health of some of those reported positive in the previous three weeks deteriorates.

The First Minister confirmed yesterday that Scotland’s lockdown would be extended for at least a couple of weeks.

She said: “That means that the lockdown restrictions – including the strict stay at home requirement – will remain in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February. Cabinet will review the situation again on the February 2."

Also, it was announced last week by Boris Johnson that from Monday, all those flying into the UK would be required to hold a negative test result before flying and made to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival regardless of that negative test result.

The Prime Minister said: “We’re banning flights from South America and Portugal and to protect us against the risk from as-yet-unidentified strains we will also temporarily close all travel corridors from 4am on Monday.”