London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was supposed to be the chief guest of Honour at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi cancelled his trip amidst the ongoing COVID crisis in UK.
The announcement of cancelling his India visit follows the declaration of a full lockdown in the entire nation owing to the increasing caseloads of covid positive individuals in the country.
The Republic day visit of Boris Johnson was also supposed to be his first bilateral visit after the UK's departure from the European Union in December.
Notably, the UK Prime Minister had accepted the invitation to take part in the Indian Republic day on December 26 by last month itself. But in an attempt to control the spread of the corona virus and in the wake of the emergence of the new virus from UK itself, the decision of imposing lockdown was made and hence cancelling the trip was soon declared by Johnson.
"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," a spokesperson from Downing Street was quoted today.
Notably, with the rise of the new covid strain from the country, the number of daily Covid positive cases had increased throughout the nation. As new figures put the UK on course to exceed 100,000 Covid-related deaths before the end of the month without urgent action, the Prime Minister said once again that people must stay at home, with exercise limited to once a day. All non-essential shops were told to close from Monday night.
Reportedly, the entire UK is going to start a complete lockdown from midnight of Tuesday (GMT). The Prime Minister has declared a tougher and stricter lockdown which is supposed to continue until mid-February for a period of seven weeks.
It is worth mentioning that the UK government is also planning to supply vaccines to the 13.9 million of most vulnerable population of the nation by mid February.