WHO hasn't associated the term 'Indian variant' with B.1.617 COVID-19 variant: Govt

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: May 12, 2021, 02:25 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Mumbai, India Photograph:( AFP )

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a statement said that "several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation classifying B.1.617 as a variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an 'Indian Variant'."

The Indian government has issued a statement after a wrong report circulating in media termed the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant as 'Indian variant'.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a statement said, "several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying B.1.617 as a variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an 'Indian Variant'."

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"These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded."

"This is to clarify that WHO hasn't associated the term 'Indian variant' with the B.1.617 variant...in its 32-page document. The word 'Indian' has not been used in its report on the matter," the statement read.

The regional office for South-East Asia of the WHO has also said that "World Health Organization 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."

The Indian government has been forced to issue this clarification after many media houses started running news reports saying that the WHO has classified an 'Indian Covid variant' as a 'global variant of concern'.

(With inputs from agencies)

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