New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced new labels for various variants of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). WHO also gave names to the two variants that have been found in India. “Labelled using Greek alphabets, WHO announces new labels for Covid variants of concern (VOC) and interest (VOI),” news agency ANI quoted the WHO as saying.Also Read - Over 70 Students, 3 Staff Test Covid Positive In Himachal's Mandi, School Made Micro-Containment Zone
“Covid variant first found in India will be referred to as Delta, while earlier found variant in the country will be known as Kappa,” WHO further said. According to WHO, the B.1.617.1 variant has been designated as “Kappa” while the B1.617.2 variant has been dubbed “Delta.” Also Read - COVID-19: R Value Drops Below 1 in September; These States Still Rank Higher | Details Here
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“The labels don’t replace existing scientific names, which convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research. No country should be stigmatized for detecting and reporting Covid variants,” Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical lead COVID-19 at WHO said.
The Government of India earlier had issued an advisory to social media platforms asking them to remove all content referring to the B.1.617.2 strain as the ‘Indian variant’. Similar directions were issued by authorities in Singapore over references to the ‘Singapore variant’ of the virus on social media.
“This is to clarify that WHO (/topic/who) has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant (/topic/b1617-variant) of the coronavirus in its 32-page document. In fact, the word ‘Indian’ has not been used in its report on the matter,” the Modi government said in the statement earlier.
In the last 24 hours, India’s infection tally rose by 152,734 cases, while the death toll increased by 3,128 fatalities, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) dashboard at 8am on Monday.