G7 meeting rocked by Covid scare after 'two positive cases detected amongst Indian delegation'

TODAY'S G7 meeting in London has been rocked by a Covid scare after two members of the Indian delegation reportedly tested positive.

The country's entire team is now said to be self-isolating, but will still try to attend meetings of the group virtually.

Senior government sources didn't deny reports of the outbreak, according to Sky News.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Government had taken all the necessary precautions in organising the event.

That includes regular testing of all the delegations.

He said: "Public Health England and the team that are organising the 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."

Priti Patel met India's foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar yesterday, when the pair signed a new migration agreement.

But it is understood he hasn't tested positive, meaning the home secretary doesn't need to self-isolate.

Dr Jaishankar also held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday.

India is not a member of the G7 club which features the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, and Japan.

But it was asked to join today's meeting of the group's foreign ministers by No 10.

Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the chair of the ASEAN trade group were all invited too as part of the UK's post-Brexit tilt to the Indo-Pacific.

They were set to discuss issues including how to share out vaccines across the globe more fairly.

The gathering is the first time G7 foreign ministers have all met face-to-face in over two years.

Britain is hosting this year's summit of the world's leading economies, which will take place in Cornwall in June.

The news comes amid fears the Indian variant of the virus is spreading in Britain.

It is growing rapidly in parts of the UK and is the cause of around one in 20 new cases, data shows. 

Experts have said the rise of the strain may be “masked” by broadly decreasing infection rates.

India itself is facing a devastating new wave of the virus, with infections surging past 20 million yesterday.

The UK has sent several aid shipments to help the country's overwhelmed hospitals, including thousands of ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

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