India’s foreign minister has seceded after two members of the G7 summit in London tested for coronavirus.
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Foreign Minister, said he had been informed of a possible case in Covid-19.
Jaishankar held a non-negotiable meeting with UK housing secretary Priti Patel on Tuesday, where the two agreed on a “migration and travel agreement”, which will provide a “hard way” for young Indian professionals who want to live and work in the UK. He also met with Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, earlier this week.
Members of the Indian delegation had not yet attended the G7 summit in Lancaster House, London, where the talks took place on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday.
These meetings were the first to meet face-to-face with foreign ministers within two years. Delegates from Australia and India are attending the summits along with the developing G7 countries as the UK seeks to strengthen its relations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Coronavirus procedures have been implemented in all conferences including on-site testing facilities, chat rooms, wear masks and Perspex visuals, the purpose of which is to separate delegates from meetings.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the idea of holding G7 summits in person, saying it was important for the government to “strive to continue as much business” as possible in the face of the epidemic.
“We have a very important relationship with India and our G7 allies,” he said during a campaign rally ahead of Thursday’s regional elections. “As far as I understand, what has happened is that the people involved are isolating themselves now,” he said, adding that he had a meeting with Jaishankar on Wednesday afternoon via Zoom.
Officials believe that, based on discussions with Public Health England, people who attended meetings with Jaishankar are at risk of contracting the virus, as coronavirus inhibitors exist, and therefore will not need to isolate themselves.
The G7 summit, chaired by a UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab, has been involved in politics such as climate change, vaccination and the threat of democracy and comes as the UK hopes to set its goals in Britain and outside Brexit.
“Being very smart and out of consideration for others, I decided to do what I do,” Jaishankar wrote on Twitter. Officials said a few Indian delegates would also help separate themselves from the remaining G7 summits.
“We are deeply saddened that Foreign Minister Jaishankar failed to attend the summit today in person,” the UK ambassador said. “[He] is now available, but that is why we have set strict Covid rules and tested them every day. ”
The test comes as India battles a second wave of Covid-19 that has disrupted the country’s healthcare system and left many sick patients struggling to access medical care.
India confirmed almost 383,000 cases on Tuesday, a slight drop from a peak of more than 400,000 new cases on Friday, but testing has dropped sharply from a peak of 1.9m a day last week to just 1.5m.
More than 3,700 Indians were reported dead by Covid on Tuesday, which forced the total threat since the plague began to exceed 226,000.
But the number of new cases confirmed by the casualties is said to be very low, due to a lack of testing, while many people in rural India are dying from respiratory and other symptoms of Covid.
Assets such as oxygen manufacturers and life-saving drugs are pouring into India from overseas, while foreign countries want to help deal with the economic crisis. However, many complained about the lack of support services.