COVID-19 Strain B.1.617.2 First Detected in India to Be Called 'Delta Variant', WHO Announces Labels of Coronavirus Variants Using Greek Alphabets

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Geneva, May 31: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday announced labels using Greek alphabets for COVID-19 variants found across the world. The WHO used letters of the Greek alphabet for dispelling confusion in identifying COVID-19 strains. COVID-19 strain B.1.617.2 first detected in India has been labelled as "Delta Variant". Meanwhile, earlier found variant B.1.617.1 in the country will be known as "Kappa".

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Notably, B.1.1.7 first detected in the United Kingdom, will be referred to as Alpha, while strain first emerged in South Africa will be known as Beta. Coronavirus strain first found in Brazil has been named Gamma. Starin found in the United States will be called Iota. Surprisingly, variants found in China have not been named in the WHO list. B.1.617 COVID-19 Variant, First Detected in India, Now Found in 53 Countries: WHO.

Here Is The List of Labels Announced by WHO For COVID-19 Variants:

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However, these labels do not replace existing scientific names of the variants. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical lead COVID-19 at WHO, said, "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-19 variants." B.1.617 COVID-19 Variant Could Become A Big Problem In UK: Expert.

Statement by Dr Maria Van Kerkhove:

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In May, India raised objections to the B.1.617 variant being labelled as "Indian variant". The WHIO had earlier also said COVID-19 variants should not be identified by the names of countries first they were found in. Meanwhile, the established scientific nomenclature systems for the naming of SARS-CoV-2 genetic lineages will remain in use as they simplify the process of scientific research.

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