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To avoid stigma: WHO renames COVID-19 strains with Greek letters

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The World Health Organization has announced a change in the system for naming coronavirus variants.

It is reported that WHO will now use the letters of the Greek alphabet to denote variants that were first discovered in Britain, South Africa, and India.

Thus, the British strain will be designated as “Alpha”, the South African as “Beta”, and the Indian as “Delta”.

The organization also explained this by the fact that in this way it will become easier to discuss specific strains and also remove the stigma from names.

Earlier, the Indian authorities criticized the name of the B.1.617.2 variant, which was discovered in October 2020, and called it the “Indian variant”, although the WHO did not officially call it that.

According to WHO Covid-19 technical director Maria Van Kerkhove, Greek letters will not replace existing scientific names. 

If more than 24 variants are officially identified, the system will run out of letters and a new naming program will be announced.

Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

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