India Kicks against ‘Indian Variant’ Tag on Strain of COVID-19

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Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Indian Government has taken exception to the description of one of the COVID-19 variants as “the Indian variant.”

A statement issued on Wednesday by the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India with heading: “WHO has not associated the term ‘Indian Variant’ with B.1.617, now classified as Variant of Concern,” said that to name one of its variants as Indian would be wrong.

The statement reads: “Several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern.

“Some of the reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the COVID-19 as an ‘Indian Variant.’ “This is to clariify that WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the COVID-19 on its 32 page document.”

“In fact, the word ‘Indian’ has not been used in its report on the matter.

It described India’s recovery rate of 83.26 per cent and 177 million vaccinations are among the highest while the country’s mortality rate of 1.09 per cent is among the lowest in the world.