New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his scheduled trip to India on January 26 as the Chief Guest for Republic Day Parade due to the growing crisis created by the new variant of coronavirus, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The development came amid the recent spike in cases of a new variant in the United Kingdom, which is said to be 70 per cent more infectious and transmissible. The UK government on Tuesday also announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the further spread of the virus.  

However, Johnson has indicated that his India visit would take place during the first half of this year and before the G7 summit presided over by the UK, planned for later this year.

"The Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned," a Downing Street spokesperson said, as quoted by news agency PTI.

"In light of the national lockdown announced last night, and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus,” the spokesperson added.

“The Prime Minister said that he hopes to be able to visit India in the first half of 2021, and ahead of the UK's G7 Summit that Prime Minister Modi is due to attend as a guest,” he further said. 

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan