British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday cancelled his visit to New Delhi, which was scheduled for next week, amid the surge in coronavirus cases in India, The Guardian reported.
Instead, Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak to each other later in April “to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India”, the two countries said in a joint statement.
“They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year.”
Last week, the British government had announced that the prime minister would curtail his trip to India because of the coronavirus situation. Johnson was earlier scheduled to visit India on Republic Day but had to call off the trip because of the complete lockdown imposed in England at that time.
India is scrambling to contain the second wave of the pandemic. On Monday, the country reported 2,73,810 new coronavirus cases, an unprecedented figure since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, to take its tally of infections to 1,50,61,919. With 1,619 deaths, the toll rose to 1,78,769.
India has recorded over 2 lakh infections for the fifth consecutive day. The country’s count of active cases stood at 19,29,329.
Meanwhile, Delhi, which is also reeling under the crisis, will begin a six-day lockdown from tonight. Several other states have also reinstated restrictions to control the fast-spreading virus.
The UK has recorded more than 44 lakh coronavirus cases, including over 1.27 lakh deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The country has also found several cases of the coronavirus variant that was first detected in India.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 14.11 crore people and killed over 30.17 lakh since December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 8.06 crore people have recovered from the infection.