Video Extras

WHO Has A New Naming System For COVID Variants

The World Health Organisation is now using letters from the Greek Alphabet to label COVID-19 variants.

It's probably to be expected, but the World Health Organization decided not to go with the most fun angle when renaming the COVID-19 strains.

Heads up, they have not renamed them by the only things we remember from lockdown; there are no sourdough or boredom tears strains.

sad crying GIF

The re-labelling decision follows criticism of the way they have been named up until now.  The variants have either been titled by their scientific name, making them hard to differentiate, or by their country of origin -- the latter being the reason of most concern as critics argue this could stigmatize countries where variants are first discovered.

This has already been seen in attacks against Chinese people, and increased coverage of the so-called Indian variety as it spreads could feed hatred towards Indian people.

The scientific names which look like; B.1.1.7, B.1.617.2, B.1.351 were simply considered too difficult to recall or tell apart – it does look like the script from a futuristic episode of Banana in Pajamas.

bananas in pajamas banana GIF

Following months of deliberations, WHO decided to use the Greek Alphabet system and have renamed the variants as follows:

• Kent / B.1.1.7 - Alpha

• South Africa / B.1.351 - Beta

• Brazil / P.1 - Gamma

• India / B.1.617.2 - Delta

• US / B.1.427 / B.1.429 - Epsilon

• Philippines / P.3 - Theta

Main image: Pixabay