On Saturday, the United Kingdom (UK) recorded 54,674 new COVID-19 cases, up from 51,870 the day before, marking the highest daily number in six months.
Each of the last four days’ daily totals has been the highest since Jan. 15, when 55,761 cases were reported.
Britain reported 41 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, down from the 49 recorded on Friday.
Notably, U.K. Health Minister Sajid Javid said, Saturday, he tested positive for Covid-19, less than a month after returning to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet to lead the government’s response to the pandemic.
Javid said, in a video on Twitter, that he was feeling “a bit groggy” on Friday night and took a lateral flow test Saturday morning that gave a positive result. He’s now waiting for laboratory confirmation from a PCR test.
Javid, 51, who said he’s fully vaccinated, was self-isolating at home with his family. The minister affirmed that his symptoms were “very mild.”
This positive test comes days before many coronavirus restrictions are set to be lifted in England in what’s been dubbed “Freedom Day,” but as cases, especially of the delta variant, surge.
Daily cases reported in the U.K. on Friday topped 50,000 for the first time since early January. The government expects daily cases to possibly top 100,000 by next month as the delta variant spreads, particularly among younger people who’ve yet to been vaccinated.