External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday, May 19, reacted to the brewing resentment between India and Singapore due to the 'virus variant' remark made by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Reiterating that the partnership between the two countries have remained strong over the years, Jaishankar said that the Chief Minister does not represent the country and hence the 'irresponsible comments' should not result in damaging the long-lasting relationship.
"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," tweeted Arindam Bagchi, the ministry spokesperson.
On Tuesday, May 18, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the central governement to ground all flights to and from Singapore and to expedite the vaccination programme in the country.
The CM tweeted about a "very dangerous" new strain of the coronavirus being prevalent in the island nation. He contended that the new strain could result in a third wave in India.
He further added that the virus can turn to be extremely dangerous for children. Singapore, however, has rejected the presence of any such strain.
Restrictions In Singapore
Schools and colleges will be shut in Singapore from Wednesday, May 19, over rising COVID-19 cases that have been linked to the variant first detected in India.
The country has authorised the use of Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15 years, reported CNA.
Meanwhile, reacting to Kejriwal's appeal, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reminded the minister that international flights have been grounded since March, last year, and only flights to bring stranded Indians back are being operated.
He also said that there is no air bubble between the two countries.
Once lauded for handling the pandemic efficiently, last week Singapore announced lockdown-like restrictions due to surge in cases.