India’s objective is to hold the scheduled meetings under its G20 presidency in “physical format,” the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday amid a surge in COVID cases in China.
“There are more than 200 meetings that we have planned, some of them have already taken place in December. Our expectation and our objective is to have these meetings in physical format. Whether, as and when if we have to change these guidelines or this plan, we will let you know,” said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi when asked whether India plans to conduct upcoming G20 meetings in virtual mode considering the COVID-19 scare. “For the moment, we do plan to have these meetings in physical format, he said during a weekly press briefing.
Arindam Bagchi further said that an announcement will be made if there is a change in the plan regarding scheduled G20 meetings.
Notably, India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1. During its presidency, India will host more than 200 meetings in more than 50 cities across 32 different workstreams. The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s 20 major developed and developing economies, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
India is keeping an eye on the Covid situation in China, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) amid the rapid rise in cases in the country.
“We are keeping an eye on the Covid situation in China. We have always helped other countries as the pharmacy of the world,” said Bagchi.
In response to a question regarding restriction on Chinese participation in G20 meetings given the COVID-19 situation, Bagchi said, “Look, if there are new guidelines that come in, on what are the restrictions if any on particular regions or particular geographies.
Then that will be applicable to all those people, whether they will be G20 particularly or not. As of now, I don’t have any information on additional guidelines on entry in India.”