National News: COVID-19 shadow on diplomatic calendar

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COVID-19 shadow on diplomatic calendar : Rashtra News

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Evolving COVID-19 situation in Gujarat is posing threat to Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held Jan. 10 to 12

The growing shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a question mark over the expected visits by several foreign dignitaries in January. Omicron and other recently identified variants are posing a challenge to international diplomatic travels that had eased somewhat over the past few months after the deadly second wave last year.

The evolving COVID-19 situation in Gujarat is posing a threat to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held between January 10 to 12. As on Tuesday, the State recorded 2,265 new infections, taking the active cases to 7,881, including 18 on ventilator support. Two Omicron cases have been recorded from Ahmedabad. So far, 154 Omicron cases have been diagnosed in the State.

The three-day summit is expected to be attended by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin along with a delegation that will include the Governors of the Russian Far East. Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba is also expected to participate in the event, which is scheduled to draw high-level business and political participation from at least 27 countries that will include, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Israel, Australia, Japan and Sri Lanka.

The other landmark event of India’s diplomatic calendar will be on January 26 when all the Presidents of the Central Asian Republics will arrive to attend the celebrations around Republic Day. The coming festivities are expected to take some evolving pandemic-related factors into consideration.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has tested positive for COVID-19 and Health Minister Satyendar Jain announced that Delhi is likely to register 10,000 infections on Wednesday. The daily positivity rate has reached 10%. In view of this, a diplomatic source expressed alarm over the “geometric increase” in the number of cases.

Kazakhstan crisis

Apart from that, Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty was placed under a state of emergency on Wednesday as a political crisis broke out over gas pricing. The crisis exploded at a time when the country put 16,468 persons under treatment for COVID-19.The Government of Kazakhstan has imposed restrictions on the freedom of movement, and entry and exit from Almaty has been restricted. Kazakhstan reported more than 400 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The political crisis has escalated with widespread protests and unrest inAlmaty.

January was also expected to mark the 30th anniversary of establishment of bilateral ties between India and Israel with high- level visits. A source in the Israel India Chamber of Commerce had informed that there were attempts to bring Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to Delhi for the celebrations.

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( News Source :Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Rashtra News staff and is published from a www.thehindu.com feed.)

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