Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has become the first head of state to receive and accept diplomatic credentials from seven foreign envoys digitally at a time when country is adapting to social distancing norms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Kovind accepted credentials from Ambassadors and High Commissioners from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Senegal, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Australia, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda through video conference on Thursday.
This was the first time that credentials were presented through the digital medium. The President remarked that digital technology has enabled the world to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 and carry out its functions in an innovative manner.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) May 21, 2020
Generally, an envoy is welcomed at the President's official residence Rashtrapati Bhavan and is often accompanied by a member of India's foreign ministry. The Presidential Guard usually welcomes an ambassador when they arrive to present their credentials.
However, during this video meeting, the envoys read out their letters of credentials while the President accepted them via video conferencing.
According to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of cases in India now stands at 112,359, including 63,624 active cases and 3,435 deaths.