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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 17 May 2021 10.39 PM IST

Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga calls off India visit amid Covid-19 spike: Report

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NEW DELHI: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has postponed his visit to India and the Philippines, scheduled at the end of the month, amid a massive surge in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), news agency Reuters said Wednesday, citing local media reports.

Yoshihide Suga will instead focus on handling a recent surge in coronavirus cases, according to Reuters.

The development comes at a time when India is reeling under the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. As many as 2.95 lakh cases, the highest ever in a day, were reported in the country on Wednesday. While many states have imposed restrictions on the movement of people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked to choose complete lockdown only as their last resort.

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called off his visit to India because of the Covid-19 situation. This is the second time this year that he has deferred a trip to the country due to the pandemic.

“In the light of the current Coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week. Instead, Prime Ministers [Narendra] Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India,” said a spokesperson for the UK prime minister’s office.

PM Modi has also cancelled his trip to Portugal to attend the annual India-European Union summit next month. "In view of the Covid-19 situation, it has been decided, in consultation with the EU and Portuguese leadership, to hold the India-EU leaders' meeting in a virtual format on May 8," ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

As India faces a shortage of health infrastructure in the face of the second Covid-19 wave, Prime Modi on Tuesday assured that the nation has much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave.

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TAGS: YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PM, INDIA VISIT, COVID 19, SPIKE, COVID 19 PANDEMIC, BORIS JOHNSON, UK PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON
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