Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today "deferred" his planned Bangladesh visit on March 17 to join the inauguration of Mujib Year as Dhaka revised plans for its opening in view of the coronavirus outbreak across the globe.
"Prime Minister's (Modi) visit to Bangladesh next week at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being deferred," an Indian external affairs ministry statement said.
New Delhi issued the statement a day after Bangladesh revised planned grand opening of the yearlong celebration hours after the detection of first three coronavirus cases in the country.
The statement said the Indian premier decided to defer his visit as "we have received formal notification from the government of Bangladesh that a decision has been taken by them to defer the public events" for Bangabandhu's birth centenary celebrations.
"The government of Bangladesh has advised us that fresh dates for these commemorative event will be conveyed later," it said.
According to the statement Dhaka informed India that the planned grand opening of the celebrations were revised "on account of detection of cases of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh, and the larger global public health situation in this regard".
"The impact of this deferment applies also to the large gathering planned for March 17, at which the Prime Minister of India was invited," the statement said.
It, however, said, India was "ready to work with Bangladesh, as partners to combat the spread of this disease in our shared neighbourhood".