On the 12th May 2021, India’s ‘Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’ released a statement entitled “WHO has not associated the term ‘Indian Variant’ with B.1.617, now classified as Variant of Concern”.
The statement read –
Several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an “Indian Variant”.
These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded.
This is to clarify that WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32 page document.
India’s government has sent a cease and desist to all social media companies demanding they immediately remove all content that names, refers to, or implies ‘Indian Variant’ of coronavirus from their platforms immediately.
To All Social media platforms:
This invites reference to the advisory dated 20.03.2020 and 07.05.2021 issued by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India regarding curbing of false news / misinformation concerning corona virus on social media platforms.
2.It has come to our knowledge that a statement is being circulated online which implies that an ‘Indian variant’of corona virus is spreading across the countries. This is completely FALSE. There is no such variant of Covid-19 scientifically cited as such by the World Health Organisation (WHO).WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its reports.
3. This has already been clarified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 12th May., 2021 through a press release available at https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1717876
4. Therefore, you are requested to remove all the content that names, refers to, or implies ‘Indian variant’of corona virus from your platform immediately.