The number of positive Covid-19 cases in the north-east are at the lowest number since the beginning of November.
Figures released by the Scottish Government daily showed that for Monday, February 15, the number of positive coronavirus cases in the NHS Grampian area was 19.
This is the lowest number of daily cases reported since November 2, where there was 17 cases.
It is in stark comparison to the same period last month when there was 162 cases on January 15 and 163 the following day. The highest amount last month was recorded on January 7 with 302 cases.
Scotland also had its first day without any newly recorded deaths with Covid for almost a month.
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pointed out in her daily briefing that the number of deaths is usually artificially low on a Monday as few register offices are open on weekends.
Since Friday, 49 new deaths have been recorded.
The test positivity rate for the whole country was 7%, a slight drop from 7.3% yesterday but still above the 5% threshold used to determine whether the spread of the virus is under control.
There was a small increase in the number of people being treated with the coronavirus in NHS Grampian hospitals, from 53 to 57, with seven of those patients in intensive care.
Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University welcomed the news.
He said: “I think we are going in the right direction. The number of cases is very low and it shows the control measures are working.
“We are coping well with the virus in the north-east and it would be nice to get cases down to zero but there’s always going to be a risk of the virus being imported.
“We still need to make sure places like care homes are protected even though the staff and residents have been vaccinated.”
North-east MSP Tom Mason said: “In the last week there have been two massive vaccine milestones — 15 million jabs across the UK with one million of those in Scotland.
“Getting these to people in the priority groups will drive down the R number and protect the most vulnerable.
“Although it’s early days, there is real cause for optimism in these numbers.
“And it is great to see the hard work of NHS staff and our Armed Forces paying off.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said the news would help give people some hope the region is moving in the right direction.
He said: “It’s good to hear and good to see we are going in the right direction.
“It’s important we remain vigilant, it is still out there, and we can’t just relax, but it will give people hope.
“Community transmission numbers are showing signs of returning back to levels they were before Christmas.”