Amidst the Covid-19 outbreak across the globe, India has decided not to have any chief guest for this year's Republic Day parade.

In reply to a question during the weekly press briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "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."

This would be the first time since 1966 that the Republic Day would not have a chief guest.

Prior to 1966, the Republic Day parades of 1952 and 1953 did not have a chief guest.

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was scheduled to attend the Republic Day parade but had to cancel his visit to India over new Coronavirus strain fears.

On January 5, Johnson had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed regret for his inability to visit to New Delhi for Republic Day celebrations on January 26.