SAJA discourages usage of term ‘Indian variant’ for new COVID strain

May 09 2021 07:31 AM
SAJA discourages usage of term ‘Indian variant’ for new COVID strain

The South Asian Journalists Association has advised news agencies to not use the term 'India variant' or 'Indian variant' while describing the new strain of COVID. The discouragement shown to use this term is because it reportedly originated out of India.

In a statement, the association warns that the naming of diseases, viruses or variants after the countries from which they originate could be a characterizing the people living there. The statement guides in keeping with best practices issued in 2015 by the World Health Organisation. Health experts and advocates have directly connected terms like the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus” to the recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans,” the SAJA said. The association suggested the journalists to practice more of concern and care in their ongoing coverage of the coronavirus surge in India and said it was available to foster fair and accurate coverage of the South Asian community.

 

"SAJA recommends applying the same guidance to any current or future variants of the coronavirus," it said. B.1.617, known as the `double mutant` -- this name comes from two notable mutations found in other variants that appeared together for the first time in this new strain and first detected in western parts of India, the letter stated.

 

At present, B.1.617 and B.1 are the major strains identified from the samples of south India from the positives of the April month data, which is very infectious and is also spreading in the younger age groups apart from the adults.

 

With a total of 4,14,188 new COVID-19 cases being recorded in the last 24 hours, India again reported its highest single-day spike on the second consecutive day. With this, the cumulative count of cases in the country reached 2,14,91,598, informed the Union Health Ministry.The country registered 3,915 new COVID-related deaths which took the total death toll in the country further up to 2,34,083.

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