G7 leaders in London
G7 Foreign Ministers (left to right): European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas, Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Ben Stansall/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

  • India's delegation to the G7 is self-isolating after two of its members tested positive for COVID-19.
  • India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said he would attend his meetings virtually.
  • India's second wave accounted for a quarter of global coronavirus deaths last week.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

India's foreign minister is self-isolating after two members of the country's delegation to the G7 meeting of foreign ministers in London have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Two delegates tested positive so the entire delegation is now self isolating," a British official told Reuters.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's foreign minister, said on Twitter that he was made aware of possible exposure to the virus on Tuesday and said that he would now attend Wednesday's G7 meeting virtually "as a measure of abundant caution."

A source told Insider that the Indian delegation has yet to attend the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting at Lancaster House so did not pose a risk to the summit.

They added that all delegates took daily COVID-19 tests, wore masks, and practised social distancing.

India is battling a record-breaking surge of the virus that has overwhelmed hospitals, morgues, and crematoriums. Hospitals are struggling with a critical oxygen shortage.

Rapidly spreading coronavirus variants are perhaps the biggest culprit for India's new surge.

The variant first found in the country, B.1.617, is in fact three distinct viruses. Collectively, they have spread to 17 countries, according to the WHO. All three have been detected in the US, according to GISAID.

But a number of other factors also contributed to their spread: massive social gatherings, a slow vaccine rollout, and a healthcare system that was woefully unprepared for the influx of patients.

India accounted for one in four global deaths from the coronavirus last week, the World Health Organization said, as well as 46% of global cases. The country has reported a total of 226,188 deaths since the start of the pandemic - the third highest, behind just the US and Brazil.

India is not a member of the G7, an intergovernmental organization which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, but it is attending this week's meeting.

The G7 is holding its annual summit in Cornwall in June - the group's first face-to-face summit in two years.

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