The U.K. Prime Minister said it was "only sensible" to cancel the visit as cases of COVID-19 rapidly increase.
Both the Indian and U.K. governments issued statements today(April 19) confirming that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will postpone his visit to India due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
"In the light of the current coronavirus situation, prime minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week. Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India. They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year," the statement said.
Johnson had intended to discuss "jobs and prosperity" and the U.K's relationship with India during the visit, according to a Downing Street statement. As of Friday 16 April, the trip was still due to go ahead as planned, but Johnson had come under pressure to cancel the meeting. India has registered 273,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Some scientists have called for the country to be placed on a "red list" to stop the spread of the virus.
The Guardian reported that Johnson seemed unsure if Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi would be able to attend a G7 meeting in June 2021 as planned. There has been no formal agenda or date set for a rescheduled meeting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.