Spain's COVID-19 death toll tops 50,000, infection rate drops

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Lleida's nursing homes get COVID-19 vaccines
Lleida's nursing homes get COVID-19 vaccines

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's death toll from the coronavirus crossed the 50,000 mark on Monday, while the number of infections per 100,000 people fell for the first time in nearly three weeks, health ministry data showed.

A total of 24,462 new cases were logged since Thursday, bringing the total to nearly 1.88 million. The death toll rose by 298 to 50,122, showed the first set of nationwide data released since Sunday's start of vaccination against the virus.

The incidence of the virus measured over the past 14 days slipped to 246 cases per 100,000 people from 263 cases on Thursday after climbing steadily from a low of 189 cases on Dec. 10.

Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simon told a news conference the figures showed a "stabilisation" in the level of contagion and a reduction in the number of deaths.

Still, he warned the data could be revised in the coming days, as the Christmas holidays likely caused some disruption to the statistics submitted by regional authorities.

(Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip)