UK surges past 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases ahead of easing restrictions

UK surges past 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases ahead of easing restrictions
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The number of infections in the United Kingdom hit its highest daily count in six months Friday, surpassing 50,000 cases days before coronavirus restrictions are set to be lifted.

There were 51,870 reported coronavirus cases on Friday with the delta variant making its way through unvaccinated individuals, The Associated Press reported.

The British government is still set to lift all coronavirus restrictions on July 19 despite the increases in cases.

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The spike in cases was expected in the country as British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last week cases could go up to 100,000 over the summer.

“As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly, and they could go as high as 100,000 case numbers,” Javid said. 

Although cases are rising, there is a relatively low number of people going to the hospital or dying from the coronavirus, according to the AP.

Javid said the government is focusing more on hospitalizations and deaths than they are overall cases.

“What matters more than anything is hospitalization and death numbers, and that is where the link has been severely weakened,” Javid said.

However, many experts are still calling the move “reckless” and criticizing the government for lifting restrictions, the AP noted.