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Spain's COVID-19 rate at 'low risk' level for first time in 15 months

REUTERS/Juan Medina

Spain's coronavirus incidence dropped below 50 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday, reaching the threshold considered "low risk" by the Health Ministry for the first time in over a year.

More than three quarters of the Spanish population has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and most restrictions on socialising have recently been dropped, although masks remain mandatory in enclosed spaces.

The Health Ministry on Thursday added 1,807 cases to its tally of infections, bringing the total up to 4.97 million since the pandemic began. The death toll rose by 23 to 86,701.

The infection rate, as measured over the past 14 days, fell to 49 cases per 100,000 people, the data showed, slipping below 50 for the first time since July 27, 2020.

At that time Spain had just emerged from one of Europe's strictest lockdowns, which reduced new cases to a trickle.

But transmission soon rebounded, infecting millions over four successive waves and pushing the incidence to a record 900 cases per 100,000 people at the end of January, before the vaccination campaign kicked into high gear.

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