Singapore has categorically dismissed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's claim that a 'very dangerous' strain of the coronavirus was prevalent in island city-state and that could affect children the most. Singapore's diplomatic mission tweeted that there is no truth in the assertion of Kejriwal, adding that there is no Singapore variant.
"There is no truth in the assertion that there is a new COVID strain in Singapore. Phylogenetic testing has shown that the B.1.617.2 variant is the prevalent strain in many of the COVID cases, including in children, in recent weeks in Singapore," Singapore's diplomatic missions in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai said in a tweet.
Responding to Kejriwal's tweet, Singapore's Health Ministry said, "There is no Singapore variant. The strain that is prevalent in many of the COVID-19 cases in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which originated in India. Phylogenetic testing has shown this B.1.617.2 variant to be associated with several clusters in Singapore."
Kejriwal had on Tuesday said that the new strain of Covid-19 could invade India in the form of a third wave and urged the Centre to stop flights from Singapore.
"The new form of coronavirus in Singapore is said to be very dangerous for children. It could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave. My appeal to the Central government: 1. Cancel all air services with Singapore with immediate effect 2. Work on vaccine alternatives for children on a priority basis," the Delhi Chief Minister said in a tweet in Hindi.
Responding to Kejriwal's appeal, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had on Tuesday said that a few flights are being operated between the two countries under the government's Vande Bharat Mission to bring stranded Indians back, and added that "all precautions are being taken".