The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's remarks about a "dangerous Singapore variant" and called it an "irresponsible statement." India's response comes shortly after the Singapore government conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner its strong objection to Kejriwal's comments about a "Singapore variant" of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Indian High Commissioner conveyed to the Singapore government that the Delhi chief minister has no competence to comment on coronavirus variants. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the Delhi Chief Minister does not speak for India.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Jaishankar said Singapore and India have been solid partners in combating the pandemic and appreciated the country's role as a logistics hub and oxygen supplier. "Their gesture of deploying military aircraft to help us speaks of our exceptional relationship," Jaishankar said. "However, irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships. So, let me clarify- Delhi CM does not speak for India," he said.
"Singapore Government called in our High Commissioner today to convey strong objection to Delhi CM's tweet on "Singapore variant". High Commissioner clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy," MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
However, irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 19, 2021
So, let me clarify- Delhi CM does not speak for India.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called for cancelling all air services with Singapore with immediate effect, saying a strain of coronavirus found in that country could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave.
"The new form of coronavirus in Singapore is said to be very dangerous for children. It could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave. My appeal to the Central government: 1. Cancel all air services with Singapore with immediate effect 2. Work on vaccine alternatives for children on a priority basis," Kejriwal had said in a tweet in Hindi.
In its reaction, the Singapore health ministry said there was is no truth in the claim. Responding to Kejriwal's tweet, Singapore's health ministry said: There is no truth whatsoever in the assertions found within the reports. There is 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.