Amid rising cases of COVID-19 in India and the country reporting at least 77 cases of the new variant first found in India, UK’s Opposition Labour Party on Sunday, 18 April, echoed calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel his India visit scheduled for next week.
“There are new variants emerging all around the world. The government is telling people don’t travel if you don’t absolutely have to. I can’t see why the Prime Minister can’t conduct his business with the Indian government over Zoom (video call),” Steve Reed, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of UK’s Labour Party was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Reed said that the Prime Minister must lead by example at such times.
On 14 April, Johnson decided to shorten his trip to New Delhi scheduled for 26 April, in view of the severity of the second wave of the pandemic in India.
Johnson had earlier indicated that apart from New Delhi, he wanted to visit Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai. The visit is significant for the UK as it is eyeing a new bilateral trade deal with India, following its exit from the European Union.
Meanwhile, UK added 1,882 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 4,387,820, according to official figures released on Sunday.
The country also reported another 10 COVID-related deaths. The toll in Britain now stands at 127,270.
(With inputs from The Guardian and IANS.)
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