Published: Tue, April 20, 2021
Tech | By

Boris Johnson cancels India trip amid COVID surge

Boris Johnson cancels India trip amid COVID surge

"As the United Kingdom and India embark on an ambitious new trading relationship, there will be many more opportunities for both nations' leaders to meet in safer times", he said.

Mr Hancock said 557 cases of the variant had been detected since December, with a "cluster" of cases in south London and isolated cases in Barnet, Birmingham and Sandwell over the last week.

Work was being carried out to assess which vaccines will be effective in targeting "variants of concern", such as the one first found in South Africa. "We have putit as a variant under investigation".

Scientists are particularly concerned about variants of coronavirus that have key changes in the spike protein of the virus.

"My assumption from everything I've seen is that it will become a variant of concern".

India brings the number of countries on the list to 40. An analysis of the samples collected from India's western Maharashtra state in March showed "an increase in the fraction of samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations" compared with December a year ago.

Viruses regularly mutate but most are insignificant, however, some mutations can make the virus more infectious, deadly or resistant to vaccines.

"But we don't know that for certain at the moment". "Or is it happening at the same time perhaps due to a coincidence?"

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Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, said it was "not good enough to try and shut the door after the horse has bolted, by adding countries onto a red list when it is too late".

Reports said these variants contain a different overall set of mutations, but some overlapping has also been found.

In Maharashtra-India's worst-hit- the prevalence of this variant was more than 60%, said Anurag Agrawal, the director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's genomics institute that is conducting genome sequencing.

But said he would "err on the side of caution" and "act sooner rather than later" when it comes to imposing increased travel restrictions. "But ultimately, that's going to be a political decision".

Labor Party officials had previously argued that Johnson's India trip should be canceled and held virtually.

Coronavirus cases in India have surged and New Delhi will begin a week-long lockdown on Monday night.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not visit India next week due to the worsening of the Covid-19 situation.

The Prime Minister said: "I do think it's only sensible to postpone, given what's happened in India, the shape of the pandemic there".

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