G-7 closes ranks on Indo-Pacific, reliable tech and vaccine IPR

By Hindustan times

The G-7 plus three ministerial meeting was instrumental in convincing the United States to grant an IPR waiver for Covid-19 vaccines in the name of extraordinary situation arising out of the pandemic and preparation for building reliable supply chains and technologies to counter possible virus waves in the future.

For India, external affairs minister S Jaishankar-led four-member delegation’s participation at the G-7 was dramatic as two senior delegates apparently tested positive for coronavirus after landing in London for the meeting.

The two officers had already recovered from Covid-19 infection and the entire delegation boarded the flight to London with negative RT-PCR report including minister Jaishankar. Even at the airport, the rapid antigen of all the delegates came negative but an RT-PCR of two officers showed positive before the G-7 meeting on May 5.

While Jaishankar decided to move virtual after the positivity report, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally thanked him for that, the second RT-PCR report of the two officers came negative. However, keeping up with protocols, the entire delegation tested four times during the trip and returned safely to India on Friday night.

Despite the scare, Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor and UK home secretary Priti Patel physically while all the other meetings were held virtually with the UK government providing secure communications to the Indian delegation.

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