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UK PM Boris Johnson's Republic Day visit to India cancelled amid Covid crisis

United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson cancels visit to India later this month, according to Reuters. The UK Prime Minister was scheduled to attend Republic Day celebrations as chief guest in New Delhi on January 26.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 05, 2021 22:45 IST
UK PM Boris Johnson, India, republic day
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

UK PM Boris Johnson India visit cancelled, say reports.

United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson cancels visit to India later this month, according to Reuters. The UK Prime Minister was scheduled to attend Republic Day celebrations as chief guest in New Delhi on January 26. Reports said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formally invited Johnson during their November 27 telephonic conversation.

Boris Johnson, who was to be the chief guest at R-Day parade, called up PM Narendra Modi regretting cancellation of his visit.

Earlier in 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended greetings to his Indian counterpart “friend” Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday, expressing hope that the two leaders would meet soon.

“Very best wishes to my friend @NarendraModi on his 70th birthday. I hope to see you soon,” he said on a post on Twitter.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will enter another national lockdown, the third of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic began in the country early last year. The lockdown came into force at 12 am on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

ALSO READ | How Republic Day parade 2021 will take place amid pandemic: 10 points

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

Under the new lockdown, people are only allowed to go to work if it's impossible to work from home, such as construction workers. Britons will be allowed to go out to shop for necessities including food and medicines, and to exercise, ideally once a day and locally.

Meanwhile, all schools and colleges will close from Tuesday (except for vulnerable children and those of key workers), and switch to remote learning until the middle of February.

Johnson said schools were "not unsafe" and children are "very unlikely" to be significantly affected by even the new Covid-19 variant, which was first discovered in the country last month and is said to be 70 per cent more transmissible. But schools may "act as vectors of transmission, causing the virus to spread between households", he said.

The latest development came as another 58,784 people in the UK have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, marking the highest daily spike since the onset of the pandemic, according to official figures. It was also the seventh day in a row that new cases have topped 50,000.

The country now has a total of 2,721,622 cases and 75,547 deaths.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that Scotland would enter a new lockdown from midnight on Monday, as well as a shutdown of schools until February 1. Also on Monday, the UK started the national rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

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