The Indian government has issued a recommendation to all social media platforms to remove all content that refers to or suggests a so-called “variant of India,” India Today reported Wednesday.
In a letter to social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MOIT) reportedly said that much of the content on social media referred to the mutant strain B.1.617 as the so-called “Indian variant” after it was listed as a “variant of global concern” by the World Health Organization.
But WHO did not associate the term “Indian variant” with the novel Coronavirus variant B.1.617.
FILE: Administrators arrange beds at the Adani Vidya Mandir School on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, on May 5, 2021. The school has been converted into the New Crown Care Center.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology also said the World Health Organization had said it would not name the virus after the country in which the new coronavirus was first reported.
For the sake of consistency, it should be addressed by the scientific name.
However, one social media executive told Reuters that it would be extremely difficult to remove all references to the “Indian variant”.
On May 10, the World Health Organization classified Novel coronavirus.1.617, a strain that first emerged in India, as a “variant of global concern,” with some preliminary studies suggesting it could spread more rapidly.
The virus is the fourth novel coronavirus that has been designated as a “variant of global concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO) and needs to be tracked and analyzed more closely, the report said.
The other three are the novel coronavirus, which was first discovered in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.