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WHO decides to mark new strain of Covid-19 with letters of Greek alphabet

Source : 112 Ukraine

The WHO proposed to call the British strain B.1.1.7 as Alpha, and the South African B.1.351 - Beta, the Brazilian P.1 - Gamma, and the Indian B.1.617.2 – Delta
14:20, 1 June 2021

AP

The World Health Organization has announced the introduction of a new system for marking coronavirus mutations, namely the letters of the Greek alphabet, instead of the names of the places where they were first detected. This is stated on the WHO website.

Related: Real Covid-19 death toll may be several times higher than official one, - WHO

“Countries and agencies should use easy-to-pronounce and non-stigmatising labels for Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOCs). At the present time, this expert group convened by WHO has recommended using labeled using letters of the Greek Alphabet, i.e., Alpha, Beta, Gamma, which will be easier and more practical to discussed by non-scientific audiences,” the statement says.

For example, the WHO proposed to call the British strain B.1.1.7 as Alpha, and the South African B.1.351 - Beta, the Brazilian P.1 - Gamma, and the Indian B.1.617.2 – Delta.

Related: Postpone child vaccinations: WHO urges to share vaccines with poor countries

“No country should be stigmatized for detecting and reporting variants,” WHO Technical Director for Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove wrote on Twitter.

Related: Second year of pandemic to be far more deadly than first, - WHO chief

As it was reported earlier, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has presented a classification of several dozen coronavirus mutations that had been detected worldwide to date. Mutated viruses were divided into categories: variant of concern (VOC), variant of interest (VOI), or variant under monitoring. 

Earlier, India has detected a new “double mutant variant” of the novel coronavirus, the health ministry said, adding to concern as the government struggles with the highest single-day tally of new infections and deaths this year. Genome sequencing and analysis of samples from Maharashtra state found mutations in the virus that do not match previously catalogued “variants of concern” (VOC). 

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