The Indian Information Technology Ministry has wrote to major social media companies requesting them to drop the term ‘Indian Variant’ when making reference to a new strain of COVID-19 virus which was first detected in the country.
This variant was first identified by World Health Organization (WHO) in India last year, WHO named the coronavirus variant B.1.617 further classifying it as a global concern.
The Indian government is cautioning social network companies on calling the variant the Indian variant yet the WHO has named it as just B.1.617. According to India’s administration, these social media companies have no ground to call it the Indian variant.
“This is completely FALSE. There is no such variant of Covid-19 scientifically cited as such by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO has not associated the term ‘Indian Variant’ with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its reports,” read the letter from India IT Ministry to social media companies.
A senior India government official said this notice was distributed to spread the message loud and clear that the reference ‘Indian variants’ destroys the image of the country as it also spreads misinformation.