In May, the World Health Organization began using the letters of the Greek alphabet to name coronavirus strains. But the covid turned out to be so “prolific” that 24 letters might not be enough.
In this case, according to American epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the global organization for COVID-19, the new options can be named after the constellations. She told about such a possibility to the British newspaper Telegraf.
Ms. Kerkhove said that another option was initially considered – to use the names of ancient Greek goddesses and gods in the names of new strains. However, the organization refused this option.
As originally thought, new strains will be given their own names if they are of increased concern or interest. A complete list of terms is published on the official WHO website. The letters of the Greek alphabet do not replace scientific names. If more than 24 variants of the coronavirus are officially identified, and the system runs out of Greek letters, then WHO will announce a new naming program.
For 3 months World Health Organization assigned names in the form of the names of the Greek letters for the five variants of COVID-19. Maria Van Kerkhove then explained the reason for this decision:
“No country should be stigmatized for discovering and reporting options. We are not talking about replacing B.1.1.7, but really just trying to help in dialogue with the average person. So that in public discourse we can discuss some of these options in easier-to-use language. “