Boris Johnson cancels India visit

Arrivals at Heathrow Airport

"In the light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week", the Indian and British governments said in a joint statement.

The variant, also known as B.1.617, is now designated as a "variant under investigation" (VUI) rather than a "variant of concern" (VOC), such as those first identified in Kent, Manaus (Brazil) or South Africa.

She said if the UK's vaccination programme goes to plan it will still be the end of July before every adult has one dose, as she added that since United Kingdom schools opened, the Indian variant is the fastest growing. "Countries around the world including our own have been through this - I think everybody's got a massive amount of sympathy with India, what they're going through", he said. These are the variant first found in Kent, the Kent variant with a specific E484K mutation, the Brazilian variant (carries E484K) and the South African variant (carries E484K).

If it meets any of these criteria, it moves from being under investigation to become a variant of concern (VOC).

"But we must always be vigilant, be driven by data and have zero tolerance for variants that could set us back".

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

He added: "India is a country I know well and love".

Testing unit leaves a quarantine hotel

More than 32 million people have now received their first dose of a vaccine, and about 10 million people have now had both doses. This would have been the first India-Japan "in-person" summit in over two years. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access! "And so in some sense, if it really is driving this wave, the fuse has been burning for quite a long time, which would make it look probably less transmissible than B117".

He described the decision to add India to the "red list" as "difficult but vital".

"There are new variants emerging all around the world, the Government is telling people "don't travel if you don't have to absolutely travel", and I can't see why the Prime Minister can't conduct his business with the Indian government by Zoom", the MP told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

Prof Pagel said: "Because we are very good at sequencing, we might be the first country to provide such definitive evidence. But ultimately, that's going to be a political decision".

Johnson was planning to travel to India on April 26 for four days to attend a series of meetings with government officials.

Mr Johnson had until that point resisted demands to hold the talks, aimed at fostering closer ties with the nation, on a virtual basis amid calls to impose greater restrictions on travel to and from India.

On Monday morning, as the new total of cases reported nationwide stood at 2.74 lakh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that a six-day lockdown would start at midnight.

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