Coronavirus Pandemic

Singapore slams Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's tweet on Covid-19 strain in country

Web report/New Delhi
Filed on May 19, 2021

The Delhi CM had asked the Indian government to suspend air services with Singapore

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that a new Covid variant in Singapore is extremely dangerous to children and could trigger a third wave in India has been sharply criticised by leaders from both countries.

“Politicians should stick to facts! There is no “Singapore variant,” tweeted Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s foreign minister, in response to Kejriwal’s tweet.

Dr S. Jaishankar, India’s foreign minister, also responded to Kejriwal. “Singapore and India have been solid partners in the fight against Covid-19,” he tweeted.

“Irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships. So let me clarify – Delhi CM does not speak for India.”

The Singapore government also conveyed its strong objection to Kejriwal’s remarks to the Indian High Commission. Arindam Bagchi of the Indian External Affairs Ministry responded in a tweet: “Singapore Government called in our High Commissioner today to convey strong objection to Delhi CM's tweet on "Singapore variant".

The High Commissioner clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy.

Kejriwal had asked the Indian government to suspend air services with Singapore, as the new form of coronavirus there “is said to be very dangerous for children.”

He said it could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave.

Singapore’s health ministry asserted that there was no Singapore variant.

“The strain that is prevalent in many of the Covid-19 cases in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which originated in India. Phylogenetic testing has shown this B.1.617.2 variant to be associated with several clusters in Singapore," it said in a statement.

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