GREEK FOR VARIANTS
B.1.617, B.1.1.7, B.1.351 … Retaining the scientific names of the Covid-19 variants is proving to be a real headache. But the WHO will simplify things by also giving them names of Greek letters.
The idea is to have names “easy to pronounce and remember”, but also to avoid that the general public and the media use names “stigmatizing and discriminatory” referring to the place where the first cases of variant were. detected, explained the World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement.
Thus, the variant B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom, was named Alpha; B.1.351, first identified in South Africa, becomes Beta; and the P.1 variant, detected in Brazil, Gamma. The WHO has given two different names to the distinct sublines of the B.1.617 variant, which ravaged India and spread to dozens of countries: B.1.617.2 thus becomes Delta, and B.1.617. 1 becomes Kappa.