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Senior British Doctor says UK PM Boris Johnson may not attend India’s Republic Day parade due to new Covid-19 strain

Days after the discovery of a new and potentially more transmissible strain of novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chair of the Council of the British Medical Association, said on Wednesday that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson may not visit India in January for the Republic Day parade.

Speaking with NDTV, Dr Nagpaul said while it was still too early for the British government to decide on Johnson’s visit, the trip may not be possible, particularly if this level of infection and spread continues. Explaining the current situation of UK, he said if the lockdown in London and other extremely stringent parts controls the spread of the virus, then it may be possible for Johnson to visit India.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to travel to India in January 2021 as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in Delhi.

Last week, the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said that a new coronavirus strain, identified as VUI-202012/01, had been found in roughly 1,000 individuals in southeast England. The new Covid-19 strain is concentrated in the capital city of London and England’s south-east region.

The new strain is believed to be more easily transmitted than previously identified strains of the novel Coronavirus. This new mutation has become a super-spreader with 70% increased transmissibility rate, however, it has not been found in India so far.

Meanwhile, in India, the Central government has ordered mandatory RT-PCR testing for all passengers arriving from the United Kingdom. Due to this fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus, more than 40 countries have suspended travel from Britain.

On Tuesday, 36,804 people in Britain tested positive for Covid-19, marking the highest daily increase of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in the country. As per the UK government’s Health Ministry data, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,110,314.

Also Read: Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine might get emergency use authorization by next week in India

On December 19, Johnson had announced new restrictions in London and other parts of England to fight against massive surge in infections linked to the new deadly strain of novel Coronavirus.

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