Thu, 17 Jun 2021

New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): All the members of the Indian delegation who are attending the G7 Summit have tested negative for COVID-19 and have been vaccinated, informed sources on Wednesday.

The sources informed that all the members of the Indian delegation are currently doing well and have been isolated, while their COVID-19 tests have been done. External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar is also doing well and is attending meetings virtually.

There had been concerns that Jaishankar himself might have been exposed to the virus and the delegation is working with authorities to determine the level of exposure, according to sources.

"For the moment, Indian delegation members are in isolation. Nobody is unwell. We will have clarity on what UK health authorities are suggesting later today or tomorrow and the further travel plan of the EAM will depend on what they say. Some of them are vaccinated fully. We are waiting for more information from London," said sources.

This comes after two members of the Indian delegation here in London -- for the upcoming G7 meeting -- tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, British news channel Sky News reported.

Speaking on COVID-19 assistance from foreign countries, sources mentioned: "We are looking for oxygen-related stuff as the primary requirement. We are also looking at key medicines. On oxygen, what we like are large oxygen plants. They make hospitals self-sufficient for years, even if they are medium-sized. That's what we would ideally like, but we know how difficult it is to get installed and operationalise. We are looking for larger oxygen concentrators.""We are looking for cylinders that help in transporting oxygen and help refill. Even hospitals use them and we are also looking at cryogenic tankers, big ones or small ones. Ventilators are useful but they are not the priority demand. BiPAP machines are also coming and we are looking at the primary requirement of Remdesivir," they said.

On allocation of assistance coming from abroad, the sources said that the Health Ministry has gone by the immediate requirement.

"They have a criteria. There is pressure across the country and we have to be realistic. The assistance coming from abroad is not really that large that it's going to supplant what we are doing domestically," they said, adding that the assistance is for short term requirements and India was ramping up its own facilities and capacities.

They further said that States do not require permission from the Centre or the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to procure from foreign countries and that if a commodity is limited, there is no point in two states fighting over buying but they have been reaching out for assistance from Indian Embassies.

On providing medical assistance to foreign missions, sources said: "Several embassies have reported positive cases of their personnel, diplomats and local employees. Many have approached us. The MEA protocol division is addressing their issues and extending assistance. We don't have dedicated hospitals that are left empty for diplomats. It's a little difficult situation. We don't have easy answers. We do our best in providing them assistance. We are in it together."After reports of members of Indian delegation contracting the virus, Jaishankar had decided to conduct all his engagements at the G7 meeting in virtual mode.

"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. That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well," he tweeted.

As host, the UK has invited additional countries to join as guests at the meeting, including India in its capacity as Chair.

This is the first time that an in-person meeting of the group's foreign ministers is taking place after more than two years. The members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, with the European Union present as an observer. (ANI)

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