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Graphic shows Covid-19 variants of concern, according to the World Health Organisation.


Coronavirus variants get new names

June 1, 2021 - Coronavirus variants have now been assigned the letters of the Greek Alphabet by the World Health Organisation in a bid to simplify discussion and remove stigma.

The WHO revealed the new names on Monday amid criticism that those given by scientists to strains such as the South African variant – which goes by multiple names including B.1.351, 501Y.V2 and 20H/501Y.V2 – were too complicated, according to Reuters.

The WHO, which has urged people not to use language to advance Covid-19 profiling of people or nationalities, has also said people should avoid using country names in association with emerging variants.

The four coronavirus variants considered of concern by the UN agency and known generally by the public as the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India variants have now been assigned the Greek letters Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, respectively, according to the order of their detection.

PUBLISHED: 01/06/2021; STORY: Graphic News