Spain's COVID-19 cases continue to rise

A woman walks at Puerta del Sol square with her protective mask in her hand as they are no longer required outdoors from June 26, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Madrid, Spain, June 26, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID, July 2 (Reuters) - Spain reported 12,563 new coronavirus infections and 28 deaths on Friday, up from 12,345 cases and eight deaths on Thursday, as cases continue to spike mainly due to the more contagious Delta variant.

Health ministry data shows daily increases this week are at their highest level since mid-April.

The infection rate measured over the past 14 days rose to 153 cases per 100,000 people from 134 on Thursday.

Encouraged by the drop in infections in the past few months as the vaccination roll out gathered pace, the government has been relaxing restrictions and last Saturday lifted a blanket obligation to wear masks outdoors.

Friday's health ministry figures show the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases in Spain is 3,833,868 while the total death toll is 80,911.

Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by Toby Chopra

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