The Group of Seven (G7) meeting in London on May 5 was hit by a COVID-19 scare after India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his entire team said they were self-isolating after two delegation members tested positive. Indian delegates joined the meeting virtually the next day.

Sikh Federation UK tweeted a two-minute video on May 9 that comprises a Sky News broadcast in the first 52 seconds, followed by a bite by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab till the 1:02 mark. Hereon, the video shows multiple images of Jaishankar while the narrator criticises Indian delegates for not following COVID-19 protocols despite two of them testing positive. The final segment of the video again shows a Sky News broadcast.

The video was tweeted by Congress leader Alka Lamba, Congress supporter Faiz INC, and Twitter user @iraniShenaz1958 whose video gained over 65,000 views.

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Founding vice-chancellor of HJ State University of Journalism and Mass Communications Om Thanvi tweeted the video and wrote that Sky News reported, “The experience with the Indian G7 delegation shows they have no respect for rules in the law… Given the rising number of cases in India, Boris Johnson should tell Narendra Modi and his delegation to stay away from the G7 main summit next month.” Thanvi later deleted his tweet.

FACT-CHECK

Alt News found that the Indian External Affairs Minister’s (EAM) pictures at the G7 summit were doctored into the Sky News broadcast. The photographs do show Jaishankar meeting delegates in the UK but they were shot prior to the two Indian delegates reportedly testing positive. In another image, Jaishankar can be seen without a mask while attending the G7 meeting virtually with his team.

Sky News broadcast (till 52-second mark)

The first 52 seconds of the video is identical to the May 6 Sky News broadcast about Indian delegates testing positive prior to the G7 meeting.

British politician Dominic Raab’s bite

The next segment shows UK’s First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying, “They [Indian delegates] didn’t have in-person meetings… with me. They were immediately (someone interrupts) we saw those tests. They were sent to self-isolation.” This video was uploaded by Reuters on May 6.

Images of Jaishankar uploaded with a voice-over criticising the EAM

We subsequently hear a man say, “[Image 1] After two of the Indian G7 delegation tested positive on Wednesday (May 5) morning, the Indian Foreign Minister did not immediately go into isolation. [Image 2] Despite what Dominic Raab states, [Image 3] many have seen photographs showing the Indian foreign minister met Priti Patel, the Home Secretary and [Image 4] the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, later the same day. [Image 5] Photographs have emerged from Thursday (May 6) showing an unmasked Indian Foreign Minister with an unmasked Indian High Commissioner flouting self-isolation rules. By definition, self-isolation requires you to stay in one room and avoid face-to-face contact with others. The experience with the Indian G7 delegation shows, they have no respect for rules and the law. Given the rising number of cases in India, [Image 6] Boris Johnson should tell Narendra Modi, and the Indian delegation to stay away from the G7 summit in Cornwall next month when heads of state from the democratic world will be gathering.”

Image 1: This image was tweeted by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on May 4, a day prior to the media reporting that Indian delegates tested positive.

Image 2: This image too shows Jaishankar meeting Patel on May 4. It tweeted by the EAM.

Image 3: The following image was shot by Tim Hammond at Downing Street on May 4. It was published by Sky News on May 5. The caption reads, “Home Secretary Priti Patel met with India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday [May 4].”

Image 4: The image below was taken by Ben Stansall and is uploaded on Getty Images. The image caption reads, “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a press conference with India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar following a bilateral meeting in London on May 3, 2021, during the G7 foreign ministers meeting.”

(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Image 5 and 6: These were tweeted by Jaishankar on May 6 where the foreign minister and another delegate are not wearing masks in the company of the other Indian officials. The photographs were taken after two delegates tested positive and the Indian team was supposed to be in self-isolation.

Final 20 seconds of the video

The final 20-seconds of the viral video are also from the Sky News broadcast. It starts from the 1:48 mark.

A part of the viral video was not aired by Sky News. Sikh Federation’s commentary was added to produce misinformation. EAM and the Indian team have now returned to New Delhi. Jaishankar claimed that all of them have tested negative for the virus. “False alarms do happen,” he tweeted however there has been no statement from the British authorities regarding this. Alt News cannot independently verify the statement, but the Indian delegation did not meet heads of other states after the coronavirus scare. There are images of Jaishankar meeting them before the positive results were out. However, two among the Indian team, including the EAM, were photographed without a mask while attending the meeting virtually.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.