Indian Variant Term Not In WHO Report On Covid Variant, Says Centre

New Delhi: The government clarified about the labelling of B.1.617 Covid variant as the ‘Indian variant’ and stressed upon the fact that the word ‘Indian’ has never been used by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an ‘Indian Variant’. These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded, said an official statement.

WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32 page document, further added the statement.

WHO does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reported from rather refer them by their scientific names, WHO South-East Asia tweeted.

Earlier on Monday, WHO said in a press conference that the preliminary studies show the B.1.617 mutation spreads more easily than other variants and the original virus. The variant has already spread to more than 30 countries and now it is a variant of global concern.

The WHO had already classified the UK (B117), South African (B1351) and Brazilian (P1) variants of Covid-19 as “variants of concern.”

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