Boris Johnson will visit India this month despite concerns over new Covid variant

Sophia Sleigh
·1-min read
<p>Historic visit: Former PM David Cameron, Indian PM Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson met in London in 2015</p> (Reuters / Kirsty Wigglesworth / Pool)

Historic visit: Former PM David Cameron, Indian PM Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson met in London in 2015

(Reuters / Kirsty Wigglesworth / Pool)

Boris Johnson’s visit to India will still go ahead this month despite concerns about a new variant that emerged in the country.

A No10 spokesman confirmed that he will still travel to India in late April although the trip will be shorter than it usually would.

It comes after a new found in India has been designated a “variant under investigation” rather than a “variant of concern” like the Brazilian and South African variants.

A total of 77 cases of the variant, known as B.1.617, have been recorded in the UK up to April 14, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Experts are said to be worried about the variant as it carries two mutations in the spike protein that may make it more able to evade the body’s immune responses.

A No 10 spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The Prime Minister’s visit is still happening later this month.

“We have said that the programme will be slightly shorter than it will have been and you can expect the main body of his programme to take place on Monday April 26.

“As you would expect, safety is obviously important and is a priority for us on this trip, which is why we will make sure that all elements of the visit are Covid-secure.”

The PM’s trip is part of his post-Brexit trade drive in which he is expected to bang the drum for “global Britain”.

The visit is aimed at strengthening partnership on trade and climate change and will be Mr Johnson’s first major trip after the end of the Brexit transition period.

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