Only one strain of the COVID-19 Delta variant, detected in India first, is now of concern, said the World Health Organization (WHO) adding that two other strains have been downgraded.
Since it is split into three lineages, the B.1.617 variant of the virus, which was blamed for a massive coronavirus outbreak in the India, has been dubbed a triple mutant variant.
The WHO had named the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants of the COVID-19, first identified in India, as ‘Kappa’ and ‘Delta’.
WHO announces new labels for COVID-19 variants
The WHO said it named various variants of the coronavirus using Greek alphabets to simplify public discussions and also help remove the stigma from the names.
Taking to Twitter, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical COVID-19 lead, on Monday said: “Today, @WHO announces new, easy-to-say labels for #SARSCoV2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) & Interest (VOIs). They will not replace existing scientific names, but are aimed to help in public discussion of VOI/VOC.”
This development came after India objected to the B.1.617 mutant of the novel coronavirus being dubbed as an “Indian Variant”.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported from the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and since then the deadly disease has become a pandemic infecting 170,426,245 people including 3,548,628 deaths globally.
Four variants of COVID-19 identified
The WHO has identified four variants of concern till now.
The variant first detected in Britain will be known as Alpha, the one first found in South Africa will be Beta and the one identified in Brazil will be called Gamma.
The fourth variant first detected in India, which was been designated as a variant of concern on May 11, will be known as Delta.
According to PTI, India reported 1,27,510 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 54 days, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 6.62 per cent, on Tuesday.
With this, India’s tally of coronavirus cases reached 2,81,75,044 while the death toll climbed to 3,31,895 with 2,795 fresh fatalities, the lowest reported in 35 days.