SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has expressed its concerns to India’s High Commissioner over comments made by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal about a purported COVID-19 variant found in Singapore.
In a press statement on Wednesday (May 19), MFA said it “regrets the unfounded assertions made on Facebook and Twitter” by Mr 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,” said the ministry.
“MFA met the High Commissioner of India P Kumaran this morning to express these concerns.”
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Mr Kejriwal’s comment was made on Tuesday. On the same day, Singapore’s Health Ministry said that there was “no truth whatsoever” in the assertion, which was carried by Indian news outlets Hindustan Times and NDTV.
As highlighted by MOH, there is no “Singapore variant”, MFA also said. “The strain prevalent in many of the COVID-19 cases in recent weeks is the B16172 variant, which was first detected in India.”
Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also responded to Mr Kejriwal’s tweet on Wednesday morning:
In the media reports in India, Mr Kejriwal was cited as urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to immediately cancel air services with Singapore and prioritise the vaccination of children.