Foreign minister S Jaishanker has tweeted that he has been exposed to possible Covid-positive people during his visit to the UK. Mr Jaishankar had reached London on Monday for a four-day visit to join the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting. He was scheduled to meet UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at Chevening in Kent on Thursday, which will now be held online.
A tweet from the minister today read: “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.”
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
Reports said two members of the small delegation accompanying the minister tested positive for COVID-19.
The summit of the Group of Seven — comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US and UK as well as the European Union — was pitched as the first in-person summit since the pandemic broke. It was also a first meeting for the G7 ministers and was slated to be held at a COVID-secure venue.
The protocols at the place include daily testing for staff and the delegates. An on-site testing facility has been set up, which can test up to 50 delegates per hour.
There are also strict social distancing rules for the whole summit and delegates often separated by Perspex screens in meetings and during working lunches and dinners. The scale of the delegations had also been reduced to minimise risk, with room headcounts indoors also cut down significantly, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
After arriving on Monday, Mr Jaishankar held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The discussion was mostly on the global pandemic challenge, vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains.
The first formal gathering of the summit took place on Tuesday evening over a working dinner.