Jaishankar taking all precautions in London after delegates test Covid-19 positive

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on May 05, 2021

S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is in London to attend the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, has been made aware of exposure to possible Covid-19 possible cases and is taking all precautions. Indian officials are trying to work out with the UK health authorities what needs to be done, said sources.

“There are concerns that the External Affairs Minister may have been exposed to the virus sometime. We are trying to work out with the UK health authorities the level of exposure and what needs to be done. For the moment delegation members are in isolation. The Minister is hale and hearty . Other members of delegation are also well,” a source closely tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

Following reports that at least two members of the Indian delegation in London had tested postive, Jaishankar tweeted on Wednesday that he was made aware on Tuesday 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,” the tweet added.

All members of the Indian delegation were tested in India on Sunday before leaving for London, and were found to be Covid-19 negative, the source said.

Home coming

On the delegation’s plans to travel back to the country, the source said that things were not yet clear. “Hopefully later in the day or tomorrow we may have more clarity on what health authorities are suggesting and travel plans will depend on that. Many of those in the delegation have been vaccinated,” the source said.

During the ongoing visit, Jaishankar had in-person meetings with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in London. “The British have a strong tracing system. We are sure they will do whatever is needed to ensure everyone is safe,” the source said.

Responding to questions from the Indian media on the fate of the G-7 meet and the Indian delegation following the positive reults, British High Commissioner to India, Alexander Ellis, said that he was sure there was a protocol to deal with the situation. “ It’s one of the first summits since the outbreak of the pandemic. I’m sure our approach will be guided by advice by Public Health England, which provides advice for public health for England. But I won’t go any further, I’m sure details will emerge.”

Published on May 05, 2021

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