Boris Johnson cancels trip to India amid surging Covid case numbers and variant fears


oris Johnson’s trip to India was cancelled this morning just days before it was meant to go ahead amid rising coronavirus cases and a new variant in the country.

The Prime Minister was due to travel to India as part of his post-Brexit trade drive, with the bulk of talks taking place on Monday 26.

However, the UK and India issued a joint statement this morning revealing the trip had been cancelled and Mr Johnson would instead speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month.

They said: “In the light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week.

“Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India. They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year.”

The decision came as Delhi was placed in a week-long lockdown after a record rise in coronavirus cases threatened to overwhelm the city’s healthcare system.

India has been grappling with a second wave of Covid since the start of April, and on Sunday the country saw its highest single-day spike so far, with 24,462 cases.

Several doctors in both private and government hospitals in Delhi have said they are out of beds, reported the Independent.

Mr Johnson’s long-planned trip to the country had been in doubt since last week after scientists sounded the alarm over a new Covid variant first identified in India. 

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