Spain cases ease as Singapore faces spike

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Spain has registered a significant fall in coronavirus cases while infections continue to climb in Singapore and daily fatalities have hit a new high in Russia.

Spanish authorities said the key 14-day infection rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people has dropped below 50 for the first time since July 2020.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet it was "a crucial milestone" in the fight against the pandemic.

The health ministry on Thursday reported 48 officially recorded cases per 100,000 inhabitants over two weeks.

Officials say a large part is due to the country's vaccination roll-out, which has fully inoculated 77 per cent of the population.

Pressure on the health system has fallen considerably to 2000 people admitted to hospitals and 551 in ICUs.

The health ministry reported 1807 new cases from the previous day.

There were 23 reported deaths, bringing the confirmed total since the start of the pandemic in Spain to 86,701.

Singapore's ministry of health said six people died on Friday due to coronavirus-related complications and almost 3600 others tested positive, the highest number ever recorded in a day.

The fatalities mean 142 people have died in Singapore after being infected with the virus, with about half of the deaths reported during the past month.

The 3590 new cases take the total since the start of the pandemic to more than 120,000, of which almost 60,000 have been reported since September 1.

More than 83 per cent of Singapore's 5.45 million people have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine, according to the ministry.

Of the 76 deaths recorded by the ministry over the past 28 days, three in 10 were fully vaccinated and the rest either not vaccinated or had received one dose.

The wealthy city-state had until August been largely unaffected by the Delta-variant spread that since April had led to record death and infection numbers elsewhere in Asia.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier on Friday urged Singaporeans to "carry on as normal" and warned against panic-buying.

Lee is to make a televised speech on Saturday about the pandemic situation in his country and "the path to a new normal".

Singapore's sole lockdown came last year during the first pandemic wave and the government has vowed it would not impose another.

Russia's daily coronavirus death toll hit a record 936 deaths on Friday amid a sluggish vaccination rate and the government's reluctance to tighten restrictions.

Russia's state coronavirus task force reported the third straight day of deaths exceeding 900.

A steep rise in infections and deaths began in late September, with authorities blaming it on the low vaccination rate.

About 33 per cent of Russia's 146 million people have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine while 29 per cent are fully vaccinated.

On Friday, the government's task force reported 27,246 new confirmed cases, slightly less than Thursday's 27,550, which was the highest so far this year.

Kremlin officials hav not imposed a new country-wide lockdown, delegating the power to tighten restrictions to regional authorities.

Russia has Europe's highest death toll, with more than 214,000 deaths and 7.7 million confirmed cases during the pandemic.

with AP

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