Arvind Kejriwal Kicks Off Diplomatic Row With "Singapore" Variant Claim
Contrary to Arvind Kejriwal's claim, no new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in Singapore.
Delhi Chief Minister Arwind Kejriwal kicked off a diplomatic row on Tuesday after stating that India could witness a third COVID-19 wave caused by the "Singapore" variant of the novel coronavirus.
Kejriwal's statement was criticised by the Singaporean government who summoned India's High Commissioner to Singapore P Kumaran to convey their objection to Kejriwal's tweet.
The Indian High Commissioner "clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy".
The Indian government rebuked Kejriwal for his statement with Minister of External Affairs 5 Jaishankar stating that Kejriwal "does not speak for India".
What did Kejriwal say?
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal shared an NDTV report about Singapore closing schools due to a new variant of the virus affecting children more.
He followed up by tweeting that India to should cease flight operations to and from Singapore to prevent the "Singapore" variant of SARS-CoV-2 from spreading in India. He also called for children to be vaccinated.
Is there a Singapore variant of SARS-CoV-2?
Contrary to Kejriwal's claim, no new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in Singapore.
As of May 18, 2021, the World Health Organisation has identified four variants of concern and six variants of interest. None of the variants have originated in Singapore
In a statement, the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first detected in India, had been detected in many COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks.
Singapore has been a valuable ally to India in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Singaporean Air Force has been flying in oxygen concentrators to India while the government has also provided India with supplies as well.
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