Two representatives of an Indian group for the G7 conference in London this week tested positive for coronavirus, putting the summit’s future in jeopardy.
After rapid screening, the two members tested positive for coronavirus, according to the UK government.
The delegation representatives are said to have arrived from India less than 72 hours ago for the important meeting.
While India is not a member of the G7, the UK government has invited India to join the group’s first in-person meeting in two years, which will be held in London this week.
The summit’s future is in jeopardy, according to reports, despite the fact that it was identified as “COVID-secure” and that any precaution had been taken to ensure that everyone in attendance had tested negative for the virus.
There are concerns that the infection will propagate more as several more delegates get sick. The meeting has been called ahead of the full G7 summit in Cornwall in June, which will be attended by many heads of state, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been chastised for his handling of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of thousands of Indians so far
Sky News journalist Joe Pike tweeted that “Indian G7 delegation are now self-isolating, but will be attempting to attend meetings virtually.
In response to a query from Sky News, UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he was unaware of allegations of G7 delegates self-isolating following a COVID-19 scare.
“We continue to have one of the most robust set 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.”
There are questions regarding the protection of other members of the G-7 delegation, according to a government source. India was not a participant but was asked to participate as a guest. For now, the issue is who else is positive and who hasn’t been screened yet may be circulating the infection. The organisers have placed in place many precautions, but the fact that two members of the Indian delegation have tested positive is concerning.
Officially, the UK government has chosen not to speak on the subject, although government reports have acknowledged the news and expressed reservations regarding the other delegates at the meeting privately.