To avoid stigmatism and increases in racist actions, the World Health Organisation known as WHO have renamed each of the Coronavirus variants with the letters of the Greek alphabet after criticism of the way they have been named in the past.
Under the new names, the WHO have named the Kent variant as Alpha, the Indian variant as Delta and the South African variant as Beta. Other variants new names can be found on the World Health Organisation website.
The scientific names were considered but these were decided to be too complicated. For example, the Kent variant is B.1.1.7, the Indian variant is B.a.617.2 and the South African variant is B.1.351.
The new names will not replace the scientific names as they do convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research.
As new variants are found, new names will be given to them using the Greek alphabet. When the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet have been exhausted, another series like it will be announced.
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