WHO did not use the term “Indian Variant” for B.1.617 virus strain: Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday that media reports falsely quoted World Health Organisation (WHO) associating the term 'Indian Variant' with the B.1.617 virus strain of COVID-19.
"This is to clarify that WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32-page document," the Ministry said in a statement, adding that WHO has not even used the word 'Indian' in its report on the matter.
Following the statement, WHO's regional office for South-East Asia also tweeted stating that viruses or variants should not be identified by the names of countries they were found in.
"WHO does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reported from. We refer to them by their scientific names and request all to do the same for consistency."
In its weekly briefing, however, WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove had said that the variant was first found in India. This was mentioned in a reply to a question by a Wall Street Journal reporter, who happened to use the term 'India variant.'
In the link below, the reporter can be heard asking the question from the timestamp of 13:29.
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