Covid: Indian delegates in United Kingdom for G7 talks to self-isolate

A meeting of top Group of Seven diplomats being held in person in London risked being derailed after India's foreign minister S. Jaishankar said he would self-isolate over possible exposure to coronavirus.

India not a member of G7 but they are attending and there is Indian delegation in London.

The second day of the two-day G7 meeting on Wednesday is due to focus on attempts to bolster open societies and make coronavirus vaccines available around the world.

"We deeply regret that Foreign Minister Dr. Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person and will now attend virtually, but this is exactly why we have put in place strict Covid protocols and daily testing", a senior United Kingdom diplomat said.

There are strict coronavirus security measures in place at the Lancaster House summit, which is the first face-to-face meeting of G7 foreign ministers for more than two years.

Sky News earlier reported there had been two positive cases among the Indian delegation.

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"We have no reason to believe any of our delegation is at risk", he said.

"We deeply regret that foreign minister Dr Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person and will now attend virtually, but this is exactly why we have put in place strict Covid protocols and daily testing". Members of the small delegation accompanying Jaishankar to the United Kingdom tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the minister to take his remaining schedule here virtual as a "measure of abundant caution". India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is attending a G7 gathering virtually on Wednesday. British rules require a 10-day self-isolation period.

"The meeting had been enabled by a strict set of COVID protocols, including daily testing of all delegates", the British official said.

The guest nations' delegations didn't attend the conference on Tuesday, though Jaishankar has held meetings in London with officials including British Home Secretary Priti Patel and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Both were wearing masks in the photograph.

The Indian High Commission in London did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"The addition of our friends from Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as well as the chair of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) reflects the growing significance of the Indo Pacific region for the G7", said Raab.

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