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Coronavirus variants have new names: we can finally stop stigmatising countries

By Ed Feil, Professor of Microbial Evolution at The Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a new naming system for the coronavirus that uses Greek letters to refer to the different variants. For the variants of concern, B117 (the UK or Kent variant) will now be known as alpha, B1351 (South Africa) will be beta, P1 (Brazil) is gamma and B16172 (India) delta.

For the variants of interest, B1427/B1429 (US) is epsilon, P2 (Brazil) is zeta, B1525 is eta, P3 (Philippines) is theta, B1526 (US) is iota and B16171 (India) is kappa. The hope…


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