WHO has decided to instigate the renaming of variants of COVID-19 in order to avoid stigmatisation and discrimination being labelled with the names of the countries in which these variants were first reported.

WHO has assigned names from the Greek alphabet to the most dominant and circulating variants in the world as follows:

  • the UK variant, first documented in September 2020, is now called Alpha,
  • the South African variant, first documented in May 2020, is now called Beta,
  • the Brazilian variant, first documented in November 2020, is now called Gamma,
  • and finally, the variant first documented in India in October 2020 is now called Delta,
  • all other less dangerous variants have been given other designations.

It remains to be seen how WHO will name the combined variants; for example the one detected in Vietnam this week, which is a combination of the Alpha and Delta variants in the same virus.

This COVID-19 pandemic is far from being under control.

Of course, with the encouraging results of the global vaccination programme, there are reasons for moderate optimism, however there are also many reasons for continued precautions.

A thought to everyone who continues to deny the existence of the COVID-19 virus and the pandemic, saying that it is nothing more than a flu. We would like to suggest a minute of silence for each victim of COVID-19; this would mean 3,576,887 minutes, which is equivalent to 7 years of silence.

Do not deny the evidence!

Keep safe.