After media reports referred to B.1.617 variant as ‘Indian Variant’, the Centre on Wednesday said that World Health Organisation (WHO) has not classified this variant as "Indian".
“This is to clarify that WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant" with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32-page document. In fact, the word ‘Indian’ has not been used in its report on the matter," said the Government, in a statement.
Later on it was confirmed by WHO South-East Asia too, which mentioned, “WHO does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reported from. We refer to them by their scientific names and request all to do the same for consistency," in their tweet.
WHO has classified B.1.617 as a variant of global concern, but many reports termed the mutant as "Indian variant", which is unfounded and without any basis, the Centre added further.
B.1.617, also known as the double mutant, leads to loss of neutralisation of antibodies. The emergence of this variant is being seen as a factor behind the sudden surge in the number of cases in India.