New Delhi, December 22: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may not attend India's Republic Day 2021 event, as the new variant of COVID-19 has aggravated the health crisis across the UK, said the country's top doctor while speaking to an Indian news channel. Johnson was, earlier this month, invited by the Indian government as the chief guest of the 71st Republic Day parade, scheduled on January 26.
While Johnson has accepted the invite, speculations are rife that the UK PM may change his decision - considering the rapid transmission of virus across the UK due to a new strain of coronavirus. Amid New Coronavirus Strain Fears, 4 Passengers from London Test COVID-19 Positive in Ahmedabad.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association. told NDTV that the visit of Johnson to India may not be possible if the current pace of infection due to the mutated version of coronavirus continues in the UK.
"Obviously we can't make a decision today about something five weeks from now... changes to the virus' reality happen on a day-to-day basis. But one consideration is that the trip to India may not be possible, particularly if this level of infection and spread continues," the top British doctor said.
The new strain of virus is responsible for a 70 percent spurt in infections across the UK. Hospitals in the country are packed to near their full-capacity, with several patients being taken to remote parts due to the unavailability of beds. The government has imposed a strict "stay at home" order for London and Southeast England. The Tier 4 of lockdown will remain in effect till at least December 31.