Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cancelled his visit to Portugal for the India-European Union Summit as the country is reeling under a raging second wave of the COVID-19 infection, said sources in the government.
“The PM’s visit to Portugal called off due to rising COVID-19 numbers in India,” government sources told CNN-News18.
The India - EU summit, which was scheduled for May 8, will now likely be held virtually. Besides, the Prime Minister’s visit to France, too, has been called off.
No decision has yet been taken on whether the virtual bilateral meeting will be held on fresh dates once the pandemic situation improves in India.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of United Kingdom Boris Johnson on Monday cancelled his visit to New Delhi amid the Covid-19 situation in India.
In response to the media queries on the upcoming visit of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to India, an official spokesperson said, “In view of the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will not visit India next week. The two sides will be holding a virtual meeting in the coming days to launch plans for a transformed India-U.K. relationship. Both leaders attach the highest importance to taking the India-U.K. partnership to its fullest potential and propose to remain in close touch in this regard and look forward to an in-person meeting later in the year.”
This comes even as Britain’s Opposition Labour party on Sunday joined called for Johnson to cancel his visit to India, starting next Sunday Public Health England (PHE) has said that 77 cases of the so-called double mutant Indian variant have been detected in the UK since last month and that it has now been classed as a Variant Under Investigation (VUI). Downing Street had earlier confirmed a much shorter schedule for the UK prime minister’s visit, with the bulk of the programme including talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set for a day-long agenda on Monday, April 26.