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International row created, Delhi ministers still insist Singapore Covid variant is real

  Amidst the diplomatic storm that has ensued following Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s claims of “Singapore variant” of Covid-19, Delhi ministers insist that there is a different strain of coronavirus in Singapore.

(News Agencies)- As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claims of “Singapore variant” of Covid-19 kicked up an international row, Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday claimed that there was a different strain of coronavirus spreading in Singapore.
Satyendra Jain’s comment came after the Singapore government issued a statement, objecting to Delhi CM’s comment about the “Singapore variant” of Covid-19, labelling it “unfounded assertions”.
Satyendra Jain, however, continued to defend Kejriwal's remark and said that the Covid variant found in Singapore is different. "There are many strains of coronavirus in India at present... Their presence is ascertained through genome sequencing. It is a different strain (in Singapore) indeed. Whether it is from Singapore, Delhi, America or London, what's important is that the strains are different," Satyendra Jain told reporters on Wednesday."It is wrong to say it is not a different variant... The picture will be clear in some time. We will inform you about it," he added.
The Delhi health minister said that the state government had also called for the cancellation of flights from the UK last year. "Then also, it was considered an unwarranted demand. I think we should do whatever possible to protect the country," Satyendra Jain added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also defended Arvind Kejriwal and accused the Centre of playing “cheap politics” over the issue.He said, “Kejriwal talked of Singapore variant and the children. The issue is not Singapore but children.”Manish Sisodia claimed that the BJP-led government was more worried about its image than about the well-being of children in India.Clarifying Arvind Kejriwal’s remark, Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi CM’s comment was to raise the alarm about the rising number of children being infected with Covid-19 in Singapore so that India can prepare accordingly.
The deputy CM also accused the Centre of mismanaging the of Covid-19 pandemic. He alleged that the Centre had failed to act in time when scientists and doctors had issued an alert over the “London variant” of Covid-19, which had led to a large number of deaths in India.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday had appealed to the Centre to cancel all flights to and from Singapore, citing concerns over a new strain of coronavirus found in Singapore which is dangerous to children.
The remark drew strong objections from the Singapore government and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement and said that there was no “Singapore variant” of Covid-19 and said that the strain prevalent in many of the Covid-19 cases in Singapore in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which was first detected in India.
India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar also clarified that “Delhi CM does not speak for India.”
Singapore MFA has expressed "deep concern" over remarks by Delhi CM to Indian High commissioner, says Singapore's high commissioner Simon Wong
"We want this episode to end. Appreciate the support from the central government. We appreciate the Indian government's crystal clear clarification."
"We stick to the medical terms. Our minister for health said that this is a global pandemic. This is not a Chinese virus or Indian variant or UK variant, etc. We need to combat the virus. We focus more on the scientific aspect of it than pin blame on who spread it. We just want to fight the disease, the virus collectively."
Foreign ministers of both countries have spoken to each other. "We would wish to put an end to this episode because authorities representing Government of India had spoken and we are heartened by those assurances," said Simon Wong, Singapore High Commissioner to India
"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 Delhi CM doesn't speak for India, and that the comments made were irresponsible," added Wong.
"This morning, we invited High Commissioner Kumaran to express concern that a prominent figure in Delhi failed to ascertain facts before making claims. Following the meeting, MEA spokesperson pointed that Delhi CM has no competence to pronounce on Covid variant," said the Singapore High Commissioner to India



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