External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar decided to conduct all his engagements at the G7 meeting in virtual mode after members of the Indian delegation in the United Kingdom tested positive for the coronavirus. This came after two members of the Indian delegation here in London, for the G7 meeting, tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, British news channel Sky News reported. Jaishankar made the announcement on Twitter saying, “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.”
As host, the UK has invited additional countries to join as guests at the meeting, These countries are India, Australia, South Korea and South. On Monday, Jaishankar had also met with US Secretary of State Antony
Blinken. On Tuesday he met UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.
This is the first time that an in-person meeting of the group’s foreign ministers took place after more than two years. The members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, with the European Union present as an observer. According to BBC, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, when asked if holding an in-person G7 meeting was a mistake because of Covid, replied that it was “very important to try to continue as much business as you can as a government…As I understand it, what has happened is the individuals concerned are all isolating now. I will be seeing the Indian foreign minister later this afternoon but that will be a Zoom exchange.”