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WHO switches to Greek alphabet for virus variant names

WHO switches to Greek alphabet for virus variant names”

The World Health Organisation has announced a new naming system for variants of COVID-19.

For instance, World Health Organization calls the "UK variant" (B.1.1.7) "Alpha", and the "South African variant" (B.1.351) is "Beta".

The choice of the Greek Alphabet came after months of deliberations in which other possibilities such as Greek Gods and invented, pseudo-classical names were considered by experts, according to bacteriologist Mark Pallen who was involved in the talks.

"The labels don't replace existing scientific names, which convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research".

It said that the highest numbers of new COVID cases in the last seven days were reported from India (1,846,055 new cases; 23 per cent decrease), Brazil (451,424 new cases; 3 per cent increase), Argentina (213,046 new cases; 41 per cent increase), the United States of America (188,410 new cases; 20 per cent decrease), and Colombia (107,590 new cases; 7 per cent decrease).

The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Friday shared the results of whole-genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples collected during the first three weeks of May 2021, The Express Tribune reported on Friday.

The initial plan was to create a bunch of two-syllable names that aren't words - portmanteaus, said WHO's Frank Konings, who leads the working group.

Читайте также: Belarus dissident’s ‘confession’ video suggests coercion and torture, experts and advocates say

But many were already brands, companies or alien names.

Historically, viruses have often been associated with the locations from which they are thought to have emerged such as Ebola which is named after the eponymous Congolese river.

The active cases have further reduced to 22,28,724 with a decline of 1,14,428 cases being recorded in the active caseload.

Kerkhove said that this could help in reaching out to a mass audience.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has moved - perhaps not at lightning speed - to issue some official guidance on the most unsafe "variants of concern".

The WHO will maintain a list of variants with their new names on its website.

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