US pick for World Bank, Banga, cancels India meetings after COVID infection

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The U.S. nominee to lead the World Bank, Ajay Banga, has tested positive for COVID-19 during a visit to New Delhi and cancelled meetings with officials in India, his final stop on a global tour to drive support for his candidacy.

The Indian-born former Mastercard CEO was due to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the ministers of finance and external affairs during his March 23-24 visit.

“The Ajay Banga call-ons won’t happen,” the Indian finance ministry said in a statement, after the U.S. Treasury said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantining.

India has already endorsed the candidacy of Banga, who is now a U.S. citizen.

India has seen a rise in COVID-19 infections in the past few weeks.

(Reporting by Neha Arora; writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Krishna N. Das)