Chart of the Day 19 July 2021 The UK now has the highest daily rate of Covid-19 cases in the world The rate of daily infections is the highest it has been since mid-January, with 55,000 new cases recorded. Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up At midnight on 19 July, nightclubs across England cleared away tables and chairs and welcomed guests back to their dancefloors for the first time in 16 months. When the much-anticipated “freedom day” was first announced in February, Covid-19 cases were in freefall. But now that date has finally arrived, a month later than originally planned, data shows that the UK is currently recording the highest rate of daily infections in all countries with a population over one million. As "freedom day" dawned, the UK had the highest rate of daily recorded Covid-19 cases in the world Daily new confirmed Covid-19 cases per million, in countries of more than one million people The rate of daily infections is the highest it has been since mid-January, with 55,000 new cases recorded on Thursday July 15, which is the most recent full day available. Thanks to the fact nearly 70 per cent of UK adults have received two shots of a vaccine, deaths remain low, with only 26 recorded on the same day. Hospitalisations are rapidly increasing, however, with 740 people admitted on 13 July, compared with 223 on the same day in June. Last week, 1,200 scientists warned that England’s unlocking was an “unethical experiment” because overreliance on vaccines for protection could increase the likelihood of vaccine-resistant variants of Covid-19 developing. [See also: The “pingdemic” is a symptom of the UK’s problems, not the cause] › Can big data help tackle the next pandemic? Nick Ferris is a New Statesman Media Group data journalist Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!