Europe

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

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Nurses prepare syringes with doses of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a vaccination centre in Meloneras on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, July 28, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

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MADRID, Oct 7 (Reuters) - 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.

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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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Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip and Gareth Jones

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