Referring To B.1.617 Strain As 'Indian Variant' Is Baseless, Unfounded: Health Ministry

Referring To B.1.617 Strain As 'Indian Variant' Is Baseless, Unfounded: Health MinistryHealth Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (representative image) (Facebook/@drharshvardhanofficial)

The central government has reasserted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not linked the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus with the term ‘Indian variant’.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare explicitly stated that the word ‘Indian’ hasn’t been used in the report from WHO and that its usage is baseless and unfounded.

Accordingly, the South-East Asia regional office of WHO clarified that it does not recognise viruses or variants with the names of the countries from where they were first reported. Instead, it is referred by their scientific and subsequently urged everyone to maintain that for consistency.

WHO had announced B.1.617 as a ‘variant of concern’ earlier this week. This particular mutant has three different sub-lineages that have different mutations and characteristics, Times of India reports.

It has been added to the list having three different variants of the Covid-19, including the ones that were first found in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.

“Several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation (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,” the Union Health Ministry’s statement read.