WHO did not identify the Indian variant of virus, says Centre

Wed May 12 2021 18:41:55 GMT+0530 (IST)

Over the past few days, several media reports have claimed that the Indian variant of Covid is prevalent in nearly 44 countries across the world. These media reports have quoted the global health agency WHO as saying so.

As a fresh development, the Union Government issued a clarification on this and said WHO has not classified the Indian variant of the virus and said, the global agency has not used the term 'Indian' in its report.

The Centre went on to say that B.1.617 has been classified as the global concern by the WHO, but several reports quoted the variant as Indian variant. But there is no scientific evidence to prove the claims.

A press release issued by the Union Health Ministry said, in its report, the WHO has not termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as the Indian Variant of the virus. The term Indian was not used.

"Several media reports have covered the news of WHO classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an 'Indian Variant'. These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded," the Centre said in a release.

"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. In fact, the word "Indian" has not been used in its report on the matter," Centre added.

Amid the Indian variant row, the WHO has issued a clarification stating that the agency does not identify the variant of the virus with the country name, where the virus was reported. The variant will be referred based on their scientific names, the WHO said.

"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," WHO said in a tweet.