The World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to use letters of the Greek alphabet to name different strains of the coronavirus. By doing this, they also hope to avoid discrimination against the countries where these strains were originally detected. The SA variant 501Y.V2 which was first detected towards the end of 2020 will now be known as “Beta”, while the variant first discovered in the UK — known as 501Y.V1 — will be known as “Alpha”. The variant identified in Brazil (501Y.V3) has been renamed “Gamma” while India’s B.1.671.2 will now be known as “Delta”.

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