New Delhi — After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday (May 18) that a variant of the coronavirus found in Singapore could cause a third wave in India, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain categorically stated that it is “wrong to say that there is no Singapore strain”.
The Delhi Health Minister added that the Covid-19 strain found in Singapore is different from the one found in India, India TV news reported on Wednesday (May 19).
Mr Jain’s reaction came after Singapore refuted Mr Kejriwal’s claim that a “very dangerous” strain of the coronavirus was prevalent in Singapore and that could affect children the most.
In a press statement on Wednesday (May 19), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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.”
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.”
In a tweet on Tuesday (May 18), Mr Kejriwal wrote: “The new form of Corona that came to Singapore is being said to be extremely dangerous for children, in India it may come as a third wave”.
He added: “My appeal to the central government:
1. Air services with Singapore to be canceled (sic) with immediate effect
2. Priority on vaccine options should be worked out for children too.”
The “central government” is the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has its own local government like other Indian states and union territories with its own legislature and chief minister.