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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO assigns alternative names for Covid variants based on Greek alphabet

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Public Health England

After criticism over naming new variants of Covid-19 based on the country it was first detected, the World Health Orginisation has announced alternative names for the “variants of concern” based off the Greek alphabet… Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc.

Last week, media outlets in the UK released reports last week saying more than 100 people had tested positive for the “Thai variant”. Thai authorities were quick to say that this new variant was detected back in January in a co-pilot from Egypt who was in quarantine for those entering the country and was not currently spreading in Thailand. A spokesperson from Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said the media use the language “variant first found in” or “variant first detected in” rather than naming the variant with the country.

Many news outlets have used the language “UK variant”, “Indian variant” and “South African variant” rather than the scientific names of the mutated coronavirus strains. To avoid using the country names with the emerging variants, the WHO has made official nicknames for the new variants based on letters from the Greek alphabet.

WHO assigns alternative names for Covid variants based on Greek alphabet | News by Thaiger WHO assigns alternative names for Covid variants based on Greek alphabet | News by Thaiger

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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