The Associated Press

The Indian Foreign Minister withdrew from face-to-face meetings at a Group of Seven gathering in London on Wednesday because of possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Diplomats from the G7 group of rich nations are meeting in person for the first time in two years. Social distancing and other measures to contain the spread of the virus are in place.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar tweeted that he was “made aware of exposure to possible Covid-positive cases last night. As a measure of caution and out of consideration for others, I have decided to carry out my engagements in virtual mode.”

The UK Foreign Office that organized the meeting did not immediately confirm whether delegates tested positive.

Delegates attending the event at Lancaster House in London have observed social distancing and are separated in meetings by transparent screens. They are tested for the virus daily.

India is not a member of the G7, but was invited as a guest to the second day of the meeting on Wednesday along with South Korea, Australia and South Africa.

The host nation delegations did not attend the conference on Tuesday, although Jaishankar held meetings in London with officials such as British Home Secretary Priti Patel and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “The US delegation was advised, including by UK health professionals, that our strict protocols on masking, social distancing and daily testing would allow us to do ours To continue G7 activities as planned. “

The UK Foreign Office regretted that Jaishankar was unable to attend the meeting in person, “but that is exactly why we have implemented strict COVID protocols and daily tests.”

India is experiencing a massive COVID-19 outbreak with 382,315 newly confirmed cases and 3,780 reported deaths in the past 24 hours.

The second day of the two-day G7 meeting on Wednesday is to focus on attempts to strengthen open societies and make coronavirus vaccines available worldwide.

The UK, which holds the G7 presidency this year, will host the group’s leaders at a summit in Cornwall, south-west England in June.

Was made aware of exposure to possible Covid positive cases last night. For reasons of caution and out of consideration for others, I have decided to carry out my engagements in virtual mode. This will also be the case today at the G7 meeting.

On this flyer photo published by the press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar smiles as he speaks at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after their talks in New Zealand. Delhi, India, Tuesday April 6, 2021 Attending Ministry Press Service via AP)

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