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New Covid Strain: Boris Johnson cancels India visit

Boris Johnson was to be the chief guest at this year's Republic Day parade in New Delhi

Tuesday January 5, 2021 7:16 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Boris Johnson

[Image tweeted by @BorisJohnson.]

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India scheduled for January, media reports citing a statement from Downing Street office said.

Johnson was to be the chief guest at this year's Republic Day parade in New Delhi. The visit, Johnson's first bilateral visit after the UK's departure from the European Union in December, however stands cancelled.

"The prime minister spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned," read the statement from his Downing Street office.

The invitation was extended by Modi to Johnson during their phone conversation on November 27. John Major was the last British Prime Minister to attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi in 1993.

The announcement came hours after UK decalred stricter restrictions to contain the New Coronavirus Strain named as VUI 202012/01.

The national lockdown that came came into force at 12 a.m. on Tuesday is the third of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic began in the country early last year.

In a televised address on Monday, Johnson urged people across the country to "stay at home" except for permitted reasons, echoing the message back in March 2020.

Meanwhile, in Britain another 54,990 people tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 26,54,779, according to official figures released on Sunday.

It was the sixth day in a row that daily new cases have topped 50,000 in Britain.

Another 454 have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 75,024, the Xinhua news agency reported.


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