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Modi cancels Dhaka trip after Bangladesh detects coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the media inside the parliament premises on the first day of the winter session in New Delhi, India, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled a visit to Bangladesh next week to attend a celebration of the country’s first president, after Dhaka detected its first cases of coronavirus and postponed the event.

The event marking the centenary of the birth of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was scheduled to take place on March 17.

On Sunday, Bangladesh confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus and urged citizens returning from six countries - China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Iran and Thailand - to quarantine themselves in their homes for 14 days.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus has topped 110,000 globally as the outbreak reached more countries.

“Prime Minister’s (Modi) visit to Bangladesh next week at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being deferred,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Ravish Kumar said.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Toby Chopra