CARE homes in Renfrewshire account for more than a third of all Covid-19 deaths and one of the highest numbers in Scotland, according to new figures.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) said 76 people in the local authority area lost their lives to coronavirus up to April 19.

Of those, 29 were in care homes, 42 in hospital and five at home. Renfrewshire sits fourth highest in the country, after Glasgow, Edinburgh and North and South Lanarkshire local authorities in joint third.

These are still provisional figures and experts around the globe have warned the true scale of the pandemic can't yet be fully known.

The owners of Mosswood Care Home, in Linwood, confirmed three residents there have died and a member of staff has tested positive for Covid-19.

At least 11 residents at Elderslie Care Home, in Paisley, have also lost their lives to suspected coronavirus in recent weeks.

It is not known how those numbers overlap with the NRS totals.

The statistics came as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted fatalities in care homes are not inevitable.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon said older people in care settings should receive "the same, if not more" support as other people during the pandemic.

Across Scotland, 1,616 people have died where the virus was mentioned on their death certificate. A full 33 per cent recorded between April 13 and 19 were in care settings. The figure was 25 per cent the previous week.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It's not unusual for people to become sick in care homes, residents are often frail and nearing the end of their lives.

"But that does not mean that we consider any of these cases to be inevitable or that we don't do everything we possibly can to prevent them.

"Older people in care homes require as much, if not more, support and protection as anyone else in our society and we're working with care homes and other partners to provide that."

The First Minister said 35 per cent of Scotland's care homes have a current outbreak of the virus - meaning at least one resident has the virus - the equivalent of 384.

Scottish Government statistics show 308 care homes have had more than one case of Covid-19 among residents and there were 2,085 cases reported in care homes as of Tuesday, an increase of 212 on the previous day.