On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to name the new variant omechron. The variant, also known as b.1.1.529, is included in the World Health Organization’s list of endangered species. This is because it is a variant with many mutations.
The news went viral on Twitter as the new variant was named. Subsequently, some questioned the approach taken to naming the variant.
The World Health Organization (WHO) usually names new variants of the virus according to the Greek alphabet. On May 31, 2021, the organization officially decided to follow this process of naming virus variants. It was based on the notion that viruses should be given names that are easy to pronounce and remember. It was also aimed at preventing hate speech against certain countries and regions in connection with the Kovid 19 epidemic.
However, if this process, approved by the World Health Organization, had been adopted, the new strain of the virus found in South Africa would have had to be named ‘Nu’ or ‘Shi’ (Xi). Many intellectuals and politicians on the Internet have expressed skepticism that the name ‘Nu’ may have been dropped due to its resemblance to the English word ‘New’. Many point out that the name ‘Shi’ was omitted to avoid hostility to China and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has criticized the World Health Organization’s action. “If the World Health Organization is so afraid of the Chinese Communist Party, how can it be trusted that the World Health Organization will name them the next time China hides a devastating global pandemic?” Ted Cruz asked as he shared a tweet from a Telegraph editor.
Epidemiologist Martin Kuldroff, also a professor at Harvard Medical School, responded. He noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) had chosen the name ‘Omicron’ to avoid having to call a corona virus variant the ‘Shi’ variant.