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Boris Johnson cancels India trip amid COVID surge

LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a visit to India for the second time amid a coronavirus surge there.

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

“Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the U.K. and India,” the statement added. “They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year.”

Johnson had hoped to visit Delhi to discuss trade and other issues, as Britain looks to boost its standing in the Indo-Pacific post-Brexit. But Delhi’s local government announced that the capital would be plunged into a six-day lockdown from Monday night, with 23,500 COVID cases reported over 24 hours.

The prime minister was originally meant to travel to India in January but that trip was postponed too due to mounting coronavirus cases and a fresh lockdown imposed in England. The replacement trip had already been scaled back due to the COVID-19 surge in India.

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