There will be no foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for the Republic Day event this year due to the global COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of External Affairs announced yesterday.
"Due to the global COVID-19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be any foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for our Republic Day event," MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at the MEA's weekly briefing.
United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson had cancelled his scheduled visit to India, where he was to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations.
Johnson had cited the need to oversee the response to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the UK, which is facing renewed concern over a new mutant variant.
“The prime minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi... to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned,” the UK government had said in a statement then.