Modi cancels trip to Brussels for India-EU Summit as coronavirus scare spreads

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 05, 2020 Published on March 05, 2020

Visit to Dhaka for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s centenary celebration still on

The deadly coronavirus has disrupted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travel plans to Brussels this month for the India-EU Summit.

Both sides have decided to postpone the annual Summit scheduled on March 13 following advisories issued by health authorities, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The Prime Minister, however, will travel to Bangladesh to attend the centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka on March 17.

“With regard to the proposed India-EU Summit, both sides have agreed that due to health authorities advising against travel between regions, it would be wise to re-schedule the Summit to a later mutually convenient date,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, MEA, in a briefing on Thursday.

The decision has been taken in the spirit of the close cooperation between India and the EU who share the same concerns and commitment to global health and hope that the outbreak is contained soon, he added.

When asked if the government was considering visa restrictions from additional countries, Kumar said that it was an evolving situation and it was very difficult to make such decisions in advance.

On the economic implication of the coronavirus on the Indian economy, Kumar said that while it was definitely affecting trade, it was too soon to assess the extent of the impact.

There is no reported coronavirus case in Bangladesh while as many as 50 people have been infected in Brussels according to reports in the Belgian media.

Published on March 05, 2020

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