WHO assigns new name to COVID-19 variant

Greek letters have been assigned to new coronavirus variants to simplify discussion and pronunciation while avoiding Geneva stigma.

The World Health Organization is new on Monday in criticism that the names given by scientists such as the so-called South African variants called by multiple names such as B.1.351, 501Y.V2, 20H / 501Y.V2 are too complex. I revealed the name.

As such, the four coronavirus variants, commonly known as UK, South Africa, Brazil, and India variants, are considered to be of concern by UN agencies, with the letters alpha, beta, gamma, and delta in that order. It is attached to. detection.

Other variants of interest follow below the alphabet.

“Labels convey important scientific information and do not replace existing scientific names that will continue to be used in research,” WHO said. Said on twitter When announcing that decision. “The naming system is intended to prevent the # COVID19 variant from being called where it is detected. This is stigmatizing and discriminatory.”

“WHO encourages countries and other countries to adopt these names because they facilitate public debate on the global # COVID19 variant of concern and concern,” he added. I will.

Historically, the virus has been associated with places where the virus is believed to have appeared, such as Ebola, named after the Congo River, which bears its name.

However, this can be damaging to the place and is often inaccurate, as in the 1918 so-called “Spanish flu” pandemic of unknown origin.

“No country should be stigmatized for detecting and reporting variants,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.

Maria van Kerhofe
Maria Kerkhove, Head of the World Health Organization’s AI Emerging Infectious Diseases and Zoonotic Diseases Unit, will speak at a press conference in Geneva on January 22, 2020. (PierreAlbouy / AFP via Getty Images)

According to bacteriologist Mark Palen, who attended the meeting, the choice of the Greek alphabet was a few months when experts considered other possibilities such as Greek gods and invented pseudo-classical names. I came after the deliberation.

But many were already the names of brands, businesses, or foreigners.

Another idea of ​​calling the Variant of Concern VOC1, VOC2, etc. was abandoned after he pointed out that it resembled the blasphemous language of English.

Prior to the new WHO scheme, some scientists adopted their own simplified nomenclature for variants such as the February treatise using bird names. However, it was criticized because it could endanger the bird and by the mother of a girl named “Robin”.

The Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

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