To overcome the confusion of naming complicated names and at the same time eliminating geographic stigma, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created a naming scheme for variants of the Corona virus. The names are taken from the Greek alphabet, and are divided into two groups: variants of concern (VoC) and variants of interest (VoI). This naming is expected to give a more “neutral” impression. Previously, naming based on the initial identified place was considered to corner certain countries.
This naming is also not intended to replace scientific labels, but to make it easier for the public, policy makers, and other non-experts to follow in the footsteps of this virus variant.
The following are the names of 11 variants of the new Corona virus as quoted from the WHO website:
Variants of Concern
Alpha/B117 (previously called British variant)
Beta/B1351 (formerly called the South African variant)
Gamma/P1 (formerly called Brazilian variant)
Delta / B1617.2 (previously called Indian variant)
Variant of Interest
Epsilon / B1427 – B1429 (first discovered in the US)
Zeta/P2 (first discovered in Brazil)
Eta/B1525 (first discovered in several countries, unspecified)
Theta/P3 (first discovered in the Philippines)
Iota/B1526 (first discovered in the US)
Kappa / B1617.1 (first discovered in India, also known as Indian variant)
Lambda / C.37 (first discovered in Peru).