The Covid-19 variant first found in India will be referred to as the Delhi Variant, WHO announced. Indian government asked social media companies to not refer to B.1.617 as ‘Indian variant’. The world health organization also said that viruses or variants should not be identified by the names of the countries they were found in.
A technical lead of Covid-19 Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said the labels don’t replace existing scientific names which convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research. A group convened by WHO has recommended using letters of the Greek Alphabet, like Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.
While the Covid variant first found in India will be referred to as Delta, the earlier found variant in the country will be known as ‘Kappa’.
Under the new scheme, B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in Britain will be known as Alpha. B.1.351 the variant first spotted in South Africa will be Beta. P.1, the variant first detected in Brazil, will be Gamma.