The government of Singapore on Wednesday conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner its strong objection to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's comments about a "Singapore variant" of Covid-19, 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 Covid variants.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the Delhi Chief Minister does not speak for India.
"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," Bagchi tweeted.
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.— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) May 19, 2021
The ministry in a statement also said that it “regrets the unfounded assertions made on Facebook and Twitter by Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal that a variant of Covid-19 found in Singapore was particularly harmful to children and could cause a third wave of infections in India. MFA is disappointed that a prominent political figure had failed to ascertain the facts before making such claims”.
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.
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In its reaction, the Singapore health ministry said there was is no truth in the claim.
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.
(With PTI inputs.)