WHO Says New Coronavirus Variants to Be Named Using Greek Alphabet

With new public labeling system, governments may be more willing to disclose newly detected variants

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TUESDAY, June 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A new naming system for coronavirus variants that uses the letters of the Greek alphabet was announced Monday by the World Health Organization.

Under the system, the public is encouraged to refer to the B.1.1.7 strand first detected in Britain as the Alpha variant, the B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India as the Delta variant, and so forth, the Washington Post reported.

The new public labeling system may make governments more willing to disclose newly detected variants if they know the variant will not be named for their country, according to WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.

Scientists will continue to use the more technical terms for coronavirus variants, the Post reported.

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