Tuesday, January 18

Wanted to avoid offending when the new corona variant was named

The World Health Organization would not call the new corona variant “Xi” or “Nu”. Therefore, they skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet.

As the new variant that was detected in South Africa has been named omikron.

In May, the World Health Organization (WHO) began using Greek letters as a naming system for the various variants of the coronavirus. It was to make public communication about variants easier and less confusing, says the UN organization New York Times.

For example, the variant discovered in India has been given the name “delta” rather than the designation B. 1.617.2. Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet.

When the new variant that was detected in South Africa was to be named, they skipped “now” and “xi”, and instead went to the fifteenth letter in the alphabet, namely omikron.

– “Now” is too easy to confuse with “new” and “Xi” was not used because it is a common surname, says WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.

He adds that the WHO seeks to “avoid offending any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.”

Only the most prominent variants, which the WHO describes as variants of concern or interesting variants, are named within the system.


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