Arvind Kejriwal doesn't speak for India: Government as Singapore slams new variant remark
Singapore on Wednesday summoned the Indian envoy and conveyed “strong objection" to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s remark on a “Singapore variant", the government said, adding that the envoy had told them Kejriwal “had no competence" on Covid variants.
The Central government said on Wednesday that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "does not speak for India" after the Singapore government summoned the Indian envoy and conveyed "strong objection" to remarks regarding a coronavirus variant in the country.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, while hailing India’s relationship with Singapore, said the Delhi CM “does not speak for India".
“Singapore and India have been solid partners in the fight against Covid-19. Appreciate Singapore’s role as a logistics hub and oxygen supplier. Their gesture of deploying military aircraft to help us speaks of our exceptional relationship. 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," the Foreign Minister tweeted.
Around the same time, the government also put out a statement. Shortly before, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also clarified on Twitter that India had told Singapore the Delhi CM had no competence to speak on labelling Covid-19 variants.
"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," said the foreign ministry.
Kejriwal had appealed to the Central government on Tuesday to immediately cancel all air services with Singapore, saying a new strain of coronavirus there is said to be “very dangerous" for children. This new strain of virus could invade India in the form of a third wave, he said in a tweet.
The Government of Singapore took strong objection to the remark and said there is “no truth whatsoever” in such assertions.
“There is no truth whatsoever in the assertions found within the reports,” Singapore's Health Ministry said, reacting to media reports carrying Kejriwal’s statement.
“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,” the Singapore Health Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also tweeted this morning to deny the existence of a Singapore variant. “Politicians should stick to facts! There is no ‘Singapore variant’.”
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