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‘Indian variant’ term not linked with B.1.617: Govt

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New Delhi The Centre said on Wednesday the World Health Organization (WHO) has not associated the term “Indian variant” with B

PUBLISHED ON MAY 13, 2021 12:55 AM IST

New Delhi The Centre said on Wednesday the World Health Organization (WHO) has not associated the term “Indian variant” with B.1.617, which has now been classified as a “variant of concern” by the global body.

The World Health Organziation on Monday said the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily. The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as being of global concern and requiring heightened tracking and analysis. The others are those first detected in the US, South Africa and Brazil.

“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’. These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded,” a statement by the Press Information Bureau said.

“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,” the government’s statement said.

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