Representative image
Representative image
Photo: Unsplash/@fusion_medical_animation

The World Health Organisation, on Tuesday, classified the B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in India, as a variant of concern globally.

Some preliminary data have suggested that this strain has increased transmissibility. The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as a variant of global concern after those detected in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil.

The B.1.617 variant, commonly known as the double-mutant strain, was first found in Maharashtra. The government recently said the recent surge in some states had shown a correlation with the rise of this strain. The variant has also been found in several other countries, and many nations have restricted travel to and from India.

However, the Government of India clarified on Wednesday that the WHO has not called it the Indian variant. The government mentioned that all media reports calling it the Indian variant are baseless.

At the same time, a debate has arisen on social media about the variant being called the "Indian variant" by global and Indian media. Many Indians have expressed their disapproval of such a name, calling it racist and xenophobic.

Several people have taken to Twitter to opine that if calling Covid-19 as "Wuhan virus" was wrong, then so is calling this strain as "Indian variant".

Here's what people are saying about the issue. Have a look.

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Free Press Journal