COVID-19 case numbers in Argyll and Bute have dropped to one of the lowest levels in Scotland, according to official statistics.

Data released by Public Health Scotland (PHS) says that there were only four confirmed positive tests in the whole of the council area for the seven days to Saturday, March 27 – the most recent figures available.

The same number was recorded for the seven-day periods to March 24, 25 and 26 – and total case numbers in the area have not risen above 10 since the first week of the month.

The latest figure gives Argyll and Bute an infection rate of 4.7 cases per 100,000 people – lower than every other council area in Scotland apart from Orkney, and so low that PHS has stopped giving a breakdown of cases per neighbourhood across Argyll and Bute to protect patient confidentiality.

Meanwhile, according to PHS vaccination data, 46,722 people in Argyll and Bute had received their first dose of one of the country’s Covid vaccines by Monday – 64 per cent of the area’s population – while 6,659 people, or 9.1 per cent, had received their second dose.

Those figures compare to 57.3 per cent (first dose) and 12.1 per cent (second dose) across NHS Highland, and to Scotland-wide rates of 53.6 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

No further deaths linked to the coronavirus have been recorded in Argyll and Bute over the last seven days.

Statistics published by National Records of Scotland on Wednesday revealed that the region was one of 11 local authorities in which no further Covid deaths have occurred during the week commencing Monday, March 22.

Twenty deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate have been recorded in Argyll and Bute this year, with 106 recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.