Singapore satisfied with India's response on Kejriwal's 'dangerous COVID variant' remark

·2-min read
Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong
Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong

New Delhi [India], May 19 (ANI): Singapore High Commissioner to India, Simon Wong on Wednesday said that they would wish to put an end to the episode where Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made "irresponsible" remarks over Singapore COVID-19 variant, adding that they were happy with the response of the Indian government that Delhi CM does not speak for India.

"Exchanges between both countries' foreign ministers, I would say that we would wish to put an end to this episode because authorities representing the Government of India had spoken and we are heartened by those assurances," said Wong.

On Tuesday, Kejriwal had cautioned Centre about a "new Singapore COVID-19 variant" that can hurt children the most.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reprimanded Kejriwal over his claims of "new Singapore COVID-19 variant" alarm and said "Delhi CM does not speak for India".

Responding to this, the Singapore High Commissioner to India said: "We were happy to see EAM Dr Jaishankar had put 3 points that Singapore and India are solid partners in the fight against COVID, that the Delhi CM does not speak for India, and that the comments made were irresponsible."

The Singapore High Commissioner to India said that Delhi CM remark would not impact India and Singapore hand-in-hand fight against COVID-19.

"Delhi Chief Minister remarks would not impact our (India-Singapore) hand-in-hand fight against COVID. As witnessed yesterday and today with transportation of medical aid, we are working together. Pandemic knows no boundary or political colour," he said.

Amid shortage of the life saving gas due to the massive surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, Singapore has been supplying oxygen cylinders to India.

On May 14, four IAF aircraft arrived in Chennai carrying oxygen cylinders from Singapore.

Earlier, in the day, High Commissioner of India P Kumaran also expressed his concerns that prominent figure in Delhi failed to ascertain facts before making claims.

"This morning, we invited High Commissioner Kumaran to express concern that prominent figure in Delhi failed to ascertain facts before making claims. Following the meeting, MEA spox pointed Delhi CM has no competence to pronounce on Covid variant," Wong said.

He further said that "In Singapore, we have Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to mitigate misinformation and we reserve the right to invoke POFMA on assertions made by CM (Delhi). However, we are satisfied with GoI's clarification."

The Singapore Government prefers to deal with the virus and its variants in scientific terms, he said. "We abide closely with WHO's recommendation of not giving the virus any geographical name. We focus more on the scientific aspect than to put a finger on anyone." (ANI)

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