Ajay Banga tests positive for COVID; meeting with PM Modi cancelled

Ajay Banga, World Bank
File photo of Ajay Banga.

US nominee for World Bank president Ajay Banga has tested COVID-19 following which the meetings scheduled during his two-day visit to India have been cancelled.

According to a Finance Ministry statement, 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 said.

Besides meeting with the Union finance minister, Banga was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and top officials during his two-day visit from March 23 to 24.


Banga’s New Delhi visit (March 23 and March 24) is the final stop on his three-week global tour that began in Africa before progressing to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

During routine testing, Banga tested positive for COVID-19 but remains asymptomatic. In adherence with local guidelines, he is quarantining in isolation, the US Department of Treasury said Thursday afternoon.

India endorsed Banga’s candidacy soon after his nomination was announced.

Since then, a diverse coalition of governments has expressed their support for Banga, including Bangladesh, Côte dIvoire, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.

During his global listening tour, Banga met with senior government officials, stakeholders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and civil society.

Along the way, he has built continuous momentum for his candidacy, gaining the support of advocates, academics, development experts, executives, Nobel Laureates, and former government officials.

If elected to serve, Banga will draw from his experience living and working in emerging markets and his expertise in forging public-private partnerships to mobilise investments and action to confront longstanding challenges.

That includes his efforts at Mastercard to successfully bring 500 million previously unbanked people into the digital economy, as well as its support for 50 million small businesses.

New Delhi logged 84 coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 5.08 per cent on Wednesday, according to data shared by the health department.

The city has seen an increase in the number of fresh Covid infections over the last few days, amid a sharp rise in H3N2 influenza cases in the country.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)