Jaishankar to join G7 meet virtually after possible COVID-19 exposure
India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is currently in London for the Group of Seven (G7) Summit, today said he will join the Summit meetings virtually after possibly being exposed to the coronavirus infection. According to media reports, two members of the Indian delegation have tested positive for COVID-19. Here are more details on this.
"Was made aware yesterday evening of exposure to possible Covid positive cases. As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode. That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well (sic)," Jaishankar confirmed on Twitter today. Earlier, Sky News reported that two Indian delegation members were infected.
Was made aware yesterday evening of exposure to possible Covid positive cases. As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode. That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 5, 2021
Earlier this week, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel had met Jaishankar as the two signed a new UK-India migration agreement. During his stay, Jaishankar has also reportedly interacted with his counterparts from the US, France, Canada, South Africa, as well as the European Union's representative Josep Borrell. The British delegation insists that all coronavirus-related precautions had been taken care of.
Meanwhile, Britain has expressed regret that Jaishankar would be unable to attend G7 meeting in-person. "We deeply regret that Foreign Minister Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person but will now attend virtually , but this is exactly why we have put in place strict COVID protocols and daily testing," a British senior diplomat reportedly said.
On the COVID-19 scare, Britain's Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, "Public Health England and the team organizing G7 are taking this very seriously. We continue to have one of the most robust set of protocols around testing. We will make sure that happens (sic)."
The Group of Seven comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Representatives from the member countries as well as from the European Union meet at the G7 Summit annually. Even though India is not a member of the intergovernmental group, the country was invited as a guest to mark the focus on Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.