The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced news labels, using Greek alphabets, for various variants of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), also giving names to the two variants that have been found in India thus far.
"Labelled using Greek alphabets, WHO announces new labels for Covid variants of concern (VOC) and interest (VOI)," news agency ANI quoted the world health body as saying. "Covid variant first found in India will be referred to as Delta, while earlier found variant in the country will be known as Kappa," WHO further said.
According to WHO, the B.1.617.1 variant has been designated as "Kappa" while the B1.617.2 variant has been dubbed "Delta." The earliest samples from both the variants from both the variants were documented in October 2020, it said.
The labels, said WHO's technical Covid-19 lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, don't replace existing scientific names, which, she said, convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research.
"No country should be stigmatised for detecting and reporting Covid variants," Dr Kerkhove said further.
The B1.617.2 or "Delta" variant, reports of whose unofficial nomenclature after India were dismissed by the central government, is seen as the cause behind the devastating second Covid-19 wave in the country.