Singapore 'regrets' Delhi CM's remarks over Covid variants; EAM says he doesn't speak for India

Reported By: Sidhant Sibal WION
NEW DELHI Published: May 19, 2021, 02:01 PM(IST)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Delhi CM had tweeted his remarks, calling on the central government to suspend air services with Singapore immediately over the variant which he highlighted impacts children

Singapore has strongly reacted to comments by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on what he called the "Singapore variant" of COVID-19, raising the matter with the Indian high commissioner to the country P Kumaran. 

The Singaporean foreign minister in a statement "regretted" the "unfounded assertions" made by the Delhi CM that a "variant of COVID-19 found in Singapore was particularly harmful to children and could cause the third wave of infections in India."

Expressing its "disappointment", the statement pointed out "that a prominent political figure had failed to ascertain the facts before making such claims."

Delhi CM had tweeted his remarks, calling on the central government to suspend air services with Singapore immediately over the variant which he highlighted impacts children.

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The ministry of external affairs has said that the Indian high commissioner had "clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy."

The foreign ministers of both countries had also tweeted about the issue, with the External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar terming the comments by Delhi CM "irresponsible," which "can damage long-standing partnerships". He pointed out, "Delhi CM does not speak for India."

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Singapore's Foreign minister also quote tweeted Delhi CM said, "Politicians should stick to facts! There is no “Singapore variant”. He later thanked Jaishankar for reassuring comments on Twitter saying, "let’s focus on resolving the situation in our respective countries and helping one another. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe."

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Before the Singaporean foreign ministry, the health ministry had dismissed the comments of the Delhi CM. In a statement on Tuesday evening, it said, "There is no truth whatsoever in the assertions..", explaining, "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."

As the second wave of the Covid pandemic has hit India, Singapore was the first country from which India got assistance and procured many things.

So far, India has govt 8264 Oxygen concentrators, 51000 Oximeters,  64 ISO Cryogenic tanks, 1861 Medical Oxygen cylinders of 10 L capacity,  8994 Medical oxygen cylinders of 40 L, 63 BiPAP/ Ventilators, and 6 Dialysis Machines.

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