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Spain’s Covid death toll passes 100,000

More than 100,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Spain, health ministry figures showed on Wednesday as the country emerged from a sixth wave of the pandemic.

Spain passed the grim milestone some two years after the pandemic took hold, with official figures showing 154 people had died since Tuesday, raising the overall death toll to 100,037.

Spain detected its first case of coronavirus on January 31, 2020 in a German tourist visiting the Canary Islands and since then it has diagnosed 11,054,888 infections, of which 18,803 in the past 24 hours.

When the pandemic first took hold, Spain was badly hit, imposing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns where no one was allowed out for walks or exercise for six weeks until the government began slowly easing the rules, first for children.

At the end of 2020, the Spanish authorities began a rapid vaccination campaign, becoming one of the global frontrunners with more than 91 percent of the population over the age of 12 now fully vaccinated.

Despite high vaccination rates, Covid cases exploded over Christmas, with Spain’s daily infections hitting a record of nearly 180,000, giving it one of Europe’s highest incidence rates.

But case numbers have plunged in recent weeks, with many regions dropping extra restrictions put in place to tackle Omicron and the government dropping the mandatory use of face masks outdoors, a measure reimposed just before Christmas.