Great Britain

Coronavirus LIVE as PM cancels India trip as concerns grow over new variant

Boris Johnson has cancelled a trip to India next week as concerns grow over a new variant there.

A statement issued by Downing Street this morning said: "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 Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India.

“They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year.”

Dozens of cases of the new India variant have already been identified in the UK.

The variant, also known as B.1.617, is currently 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.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday: “I am concerned about all the variants. Don’t get me wrong, I think our road map is going well and at the moment, in this country, we are doing rather well, enjoying unlocking.

“But out there, there is the Indian variant, the South African, Brazilian etc, and they do pose a threat.”

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will make a Commons statement at around 3.30pm to update MPs on the latest developments in the battle with Covid-19.

Follow the latest news and updates throughout the day in the blog below.

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