India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar has affirmed the "exceptional relationship" between Singapore and India, saying in a tweet that both countries have been "solid partners in the fight against Covid-19".
Indian High Commissioner refuted Kejriwal's claims
Jaishannkar was replying to a tweet by the official spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs, who said the Indian High Commissioner P Kumaran had refuted the remarks made by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about a "dangerous" Covid-19 variant found in Singapore.
Singapore and India have been solid partners in the fight against Covid-19.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 19, 2021
Appreciate Singapore's role as a logistics hub and oxygen supplier. Their gesture of deploying military aircraft to help us speaks of our exceptional relationship. @VivianBala https://t.co/x7jcmoyQ5a
Kejriwal had called for a ban of flights between India and Singapore as well to prevent the variant from resulting in a third wave of infections in India.
Kumaran had clarified that Kejriwal had "no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy".
Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan thanked Jaishankar for his affirmation of strong and friendly relations between both countries, reiterating that they should focus on resolving the pandemic situation in their respective countries first, and help one another.
Singapore's MFA expressed disappointment over "unfounded assertions"
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had met Kumaran to express its disappointment over Kejriwal for failing to ascertain the facts before making such "unfounded assertions".
Vivian had rebutted his claim as well, saying on May 19 that there is no "Singapore variant" and that "politicians should stick to facts".
The Ministry of Health had also clarified on May 18 that the B.1.617.2 variant prevalent in many Covid-19 cases in recent weeks was first detected in India.
Top image via Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook