World Bank presidential nominee Ajay Banga tested positive for Covid-19 during routine testing in Delhi, ahead of his scheduled meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The meeting now stands cancelled, according to a Finance Ministry statement.
The statement said that Banga's meeting with Nirmala Sitharaman would not happen as he is in quarantine. "During routine testing, Ajay Banga tested positive for COVID-19 but remains asymptomatic. In adherence with local guidelines, he is quarantining in isolation," the statement added.
#UPDATE | The United States nominee for World Bank President Ajay Banga tested Covid positive upon arrival in Delhi. Banga has conducted multiple tests for Covid during his tour and tested negative before departing for India: Spokesperson, US Embassy in New Delhi— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2023
(File pic) https://t.co/WEdCFSkPoU pic.twitter.com/pht56VZGAq
He was on a three-week global listening tour that began in Africa before progressing to Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Banga's New Delhi visit (March 23 and March 24) was the final stop.
In a statement on Wednesday, the US Treasury Department had said, "While in India...these discussions will focus on India's development priorities, the World Bank, and global economic development challenges."
Indian-origin Banga, 63, currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation. He was previously chief executive at Mastercard.
(With inputs from PTI)