London: Two Members of the Indian Delegation set to attend the G7 London Meeting have tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The revelation has sparked fear amongst the other delegates who are part of the summit as they may also be infected with the virus.
The UK Government confirmed the news after rapid testing. The delegates arrived from India 72 hours ago for the 7 nation summit. Although India is not a G7 member, the UK Government extended an invitation to the Indian government to attend an in-person meeting of the foreign ministers of the seven countries. The G7 London meeting was scheduled to take place this week.
According to sources, there has been scepticism on whether the meeting will happen or not as it was described as “COVID-secure”. It was claimed that every measure had been taken to ensure that the attendees tested negative for the infection.
It is feared now that a lot more delegates could be infected and the virus may spread further. The meeting will act as a prerequisite to the full G7 summit in Cornwall to be held in June. Several heads of states are penned in to attend including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is facing the wrath of critics around the world due to his government’s poor handling of the coronavirus crisis in India which has cost thousands of Indians their lives.
“Indian G7 delegation is now self-isolating, but will be attempting to attend meetings virtually,” tweeted Sky News journalist Joe Pike. In response to a question by Sky News, the UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said that he was unaware of reports of the G7 delegates self-isolating following a COVID-19 scare.
Asked if he knew how many were self-isolation, he said: “I don’t I’m afraid, but obviously Public Health England and the team that is organising the G7 take this very seriously. We continue to have one of the most robust sets of protocols around testing and so we will make sure that happens, but I don’t know the numbers.”
He added: “This is news to me… I can’t really comment.”
A government source said that there were concerns about the safety of other people in the G-7 delegation. “India was not a member but was invited as a guest. The question right now is who else is positive and who else has not been tested and may be spreading the virus. The organisers had put several safeguards in place but the fact that two Indian delegation members have tested positive is scary.”
The UK Government has not officially made a comment on the revelation but government sources have confirmed the news. Their concerns for other delegates were also shared.