Two COVID cases among Indian delegation at UK G7 meeting, Sky News understands

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The Indian delegation in the UK for this week’s G7 meeting is self-isolating after two positive COVID tests among them, Sky News understands.

Although it is not a G7 member, India was invited to attend the first in-person meeting of the group’s foreign ministers in more than two years in London this week.

04/05/2021. London, United Kingdom. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab hosts the G7 foreign leaders at Lancaster House in London. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street
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G7 foreign ministers met for ‘COVID-secure talks’ in London

The meeting was described as “COVID-secure talks” ahead of this June’s full G7 summit in Cornwall.

Home Secretary Priti Patel met with India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday as the pair signed a new Uk-India migration agreement.

However, Sky News understands as Dr Jaishankar has not tested positive, Ms Patel will not be self-isolating.

He posted on Twitter on Wednesday morning: “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.

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“That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well.”

Dr Jaishankar had also met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a news conference with India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar following a bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS
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Dr Jaishankar met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week

On Wednesday morning, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he was unaware of reports of G7 delegates self-isolating following a COVID scare.

04/05/2021. London, United Kingdom. G7 HS Priti Patel Bilat with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar from India. Home Office. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street
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Ms Patel and Dr Jaishankar signed a new immigration deal Pic: Tim Hammond/Downing St

Asked on Sky News whether he knew how many were self-isolating, he said: “I don’t I’m afraid, but obviously Public Health England and the team that are organising G7 take this very seriously.

“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.”

COVID-19 protocols the G7 summit
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Screens were part of the COVID protocols at the G7 meeting

He added: “This is news to me… I can’t really comment.”