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Prime Minister's trip to India cancelled, while officials investigate new virus variant

Prime Minister's trip to India cancelled, while officials investigate new virus variant

Boris Johnson's trip to India next week has been cancelled amid the current coronavirus situation in the country.

India is currently experiencing a surge in cases of COVID-19 and the capital New Dehli has entered a week-long lockdown as part of efforts to try and tackle the rise in cases. 

Prime Minister Johnson had been due to visit India in January, but the trip was delayed due to England's lockdown. The trip has now been scrapped but Mr Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to meet in person at some point later in the year.

Officials in the UK are currently investigating a new variant of coronavirus, first identified in India. More than 70 cases of the variant have been identified so far in England and Scotland, though the variant has not yet been classified as a 'variant of concern'.

Experts are looking into whether the variant could be more transmissible or evade vaccines. Variants of the virus are considered a potential danger to the UK's easing of lockdown, especially if they are able to evade vaccines.

While there are concerns over the variant, there is not yet concrete evidence that the variant may make vaccines less effective and investigations are ongoing.

On Sunday, a total of 1,882 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the UK, while a further 10 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also reported.

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