LONDON (Dispatches) - The British Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that coronavirus infections in the country are expected to double in the next two weeks as the United Kingdom lifts remaining restrictions on gatherings of people.
“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 on BBC radio.
Despite the expected jump in numbers, Javid stressed the concern is about hospitalizations and deaths, which are at better levels than previously recorded.
“What matters more than anything is hospitalization and death numbers, and that is where the link has been severely weakened,” Javid said.
“Just to put a number on that — at the moment, we are seeing around 25,000 new cases a day. The last time was saw numbers like that, we sadly had deaths of around 500 a day. And now we are at about one-thirtieth of that,” he added.
The increase in cases is stemming from the delta variant that has caused many countries to see a spike in cases, including in countries with strong vaccination programs.
Despite the rise in cases, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated Monday all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted July 19. This includes capacity limits and social distancing rules being lifted.
Johnson’s decision to drop mandatory face-masks and social distancing from July 19 in England could condemn thousands of young Britons to years of debilitating sickness with long COVID, those who study the illness have warned.
Experts told The Independent that as many as 10,000 people a day could be struck down by the condition over the coming weeks, with around 20 percent of sufferers remaining unable to work, study or carry out normal daily activities for a year or more.
Long-COVID campaigners wrote to Javid urging him to reconsider the lifting of restrictions such as the requirement for masks on public transport and in shops.