New Delhi: United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be visiting India as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi later this month, said a report citing sources in the British High Commission. Even though the UK is witnessing the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus and PM Johnson has also announced nationwide lockdown, the British High Commission stated that the prime minister will visit India as per schedule as there’s no change in his plan yet.Also Read - IND vs NZ | 2nd Test, Day 3: India Need 5-Wickets to Clinch Series, Ajaz Patel Scalps 14
Earlier last month, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar confirmed that PM Johnson will be attending India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021 as the chief guest and also added that it is symbolic of a new era of India-UK ties. Also Read - Unofficial 2nd Test Between India A and South Africa A Ends in Draw
Accepting India’s invitation, PM Johnson said that his visit will mark the start of an “exciting year” for Global Britain and deliver a “quantum leap” in the bilateral ties. Also Read - Dignified Exit For Ishant Sharma? Minor Hamstring Strain Paves Way For Ajinkya Rahane's Selection in Rainbow Nation
“I am absolutely delighted to be visiting India next year at the start of an exciting year for Global Britain, and look forward to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have pledged to achieve. As a key player in the Indo-Pacific region, India is an increasingly indispensable partner for the United Kingdom as we work to boost jobs and growth, confront shared threats to our security and protect our planet,” he said.
PM Johnson’s India visit, which happens to be the first since he took office, comes amid the new strain of novel coronavirus rapidly-spreading in the UK which is believed to be much more infectious than COVID-19.
This new version of the virus led to fresh wave of travel restrictions worldwide. But, despite the imposition of immediate travel bans to and fro from the UK, over 30 countries have reported patients infected with the mutant version. At present, India has nearly 60 patients who tested positive for the new coronavirus strain. They are all returnees from the UK or had contact with such travellers and are kept in isolation.