'Omicron' Covid variant: Did WHO skip two letters of Greek alphabet to avoid 'Xi'?

Asia's Tech News Daily

'Omicron' Covid variant: Did WHO skip two letters of Greek alphabet to avoid 'Xi'?
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: AP/PTI)

When news of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1529 first began to emerge, many expected that if it was flagged by the World Health Organisation, it would – quite fittingly – be called the ‘Nu’ variant. The WHO has been naming coronavirus variants after the Greek alphabet and the next available letter was ‘Nu’.

However, after the WHO’s panel met on Friday, they designated the new strain found in South Africa and Botswana as a ‘variant of concern’ and announced that it would be called the ‘Omicron’ variant.

In doing so, they skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet – Nu and Xi. But why?

Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorf, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, provided a possible reason. Taking to Twitter, he suggested that the WHO had jumped the alphabet and named the new variant ‘Omicron’ in order to avoid the potential situation of ever having to call a coronavirus variant the ‘Xi’ strain.

All things considered, it would be rather awkward for the world to be battling a coronavirus variant that shares its name with Chinese President Xi Jinping, especially after all the debates over the origin of the original virus. But in the bargain, ‘Nu’ lost its claim to fame too!

With an image of the Greek alphabet, Martin Kulldorf wrote, “News of new Nu variant, but WHO is jumping the alphabet to call it Omicron, so they can avoid Xi.”

News of new Nu variant, but WHO is jumping the alphabet to call it Omicron, so they can avoid Xi. pic.twitter.com/UJ4xMwg52i

— Martin Kulldorff (@MartinKulldorff) November 26, 2021

OMICRON VARIANT

On Friday, the World Health Organisation designated SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1529 as a ‘variant of concern’. The new coronavirus variant, which has been detected in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel and Botswana, was named Omicron.

The WHO classified the variant as a “highly transmissible virus of concern”, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant of the coronavirus. In a bid to contain this new Covid-19 threat, countries across the world have rushed to impose travel bans.

Omicron’s actual risks are not understood yet. But early evidence suggests it carries an increased risk of re-infection compared with other highly transmissible variants, the WHO said. That means people who contracted Covid-19 and recovered could be subject to catching it again. It could take weeks to know if current vaccines are less effective against this variant.

ALSO READ: Decoded | Why B.1.1.529 African variant of SARS-CoV-2 is being debated

ALSO READ: Will flight restrictions help as new coronavirus variant Omicron emerges?

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Bill de Blasio announces he's not running for governor of New York

I am not going to be running for Governor of New York State, but I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fighting inequality in the state ... Read more »

'Absolutely outrageous', 'Sickening' - Many Spurs fans furious as 'shocking' news emerges

A whole host of Tottenham Hotspur fans are furious on Twitter to see that Dilan Markanday has left the club. Read the latest news coming out about Tottenham Hotspur Fabrizio ... Read more »

These rare photos show Tom Brady from his baseball days

Tom Brady looks unrecognizable in photos of himself playing baseball as a teen before the team told him to stick with football. Photos of the Super Bowl star reveal him ... Read more »

8 Signs You Might Be Pansexual

© Pexels Curly-haired women holding the pansexual pride flag When it comes to sexuality, there are a number of ways people can identify. While you might understand what it means ... Read more »

COVID cases in US drop 47 percent in a week, according to data

COVID-19 cases have seen an almost 50 percent drop in the US, but officials warn not to become complacent. Christopher Sadowski Daily COVID-19 cases across the United States have dropped ... Read more »

"Tottenham are..": Reliable journo drops exciting transfer claim, fans will be buzzing - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast Wolves winger Adama Traore battles Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga Tottenham Hotspur should seal the signature of Adama Traore before this month’s transfer deadline… What’s the ... Read more »

Sources: Wigan Athletic edge ahead of Sunderland in pursuit of 24-year-old

© Provided by Football League World patrick roberts Wigan Athletic have moved ahead of Sunderland in their pursuit of Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, Football League World have exclusively learnt. ... Read more »

Tennis-Sabalenka credits Philippoussis for helping fix service struggles

© Reuters/ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE Australian Open MELBOURNE (Reuters) – World number three Aryna Sabalenka credited former Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis for helping fix her misfiring serve in the build-up ... Read more »

Owen Farrell the ‘right man' to lead England into Six Nations, Eddie Jones claims

Eddie Jones insists Owen Farrell is still the best candidate to lead England into the Guinness Six Nations despite his lack of game time in the wake of ankle surgery. ... Read more »

Landi baut Online-Handel aus

© KEYSTONE/CHRISTIAN BEUTLER Die Landi möchte sich ein grösseres Stück vom wachsenden Online-Handel sichern. Sie baut daher ihr Angebot für Internet-Bestellungen aus. Neu liefern die regionalen Landi-Läden ihr gesamtes Sortiment ... Read more »

Vulkanausbruch und Tsunami: Tonga bestätigt drei Tote

Tongas Regierung hat in einer ersten offiziellen Mitteilung seit der gewaltigen Eruption des Untersee-Vulkans Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai im Pazifik mindestens drei Tote bestätigt. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Tonga bestätigt drei Tote Bei ... Read more »

'I still feel I have something to offer. I wouldn't be going back if I didn't think that'

TURNING 33 NEXT month, Padraic Maher gave his inter-county future some thought before committing to his 14 season with the Tipperary senior hurlers. After Brendan Maher’s retirement in the off-season, ... Read more »

Covid restrictions set to be ‘substantially reduced' next week says Sajid Javid – with WFH and jabs passports to be axed

COVID restrictions are set to be “substantially reduced” next week when Plan B measures are ditched, Sajid Javid declared today. In a huge boost to millions of Brits the health ... Read more »

Pokimane's streaming setup: Mouse, keyboard, headset and more

© Provided by Dot Esports Pokimane is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch. She began streaming in 2013 while attending college in Canada. Pokimane is one of the ... Read more »

The best perk combinations in Nobody Saves The World

© Provided by GamePur Drinkbox’s action RPG Nobody Saves The World is a dungeon crawling adventure where players can transform into various forms and mix and match abilities from each ... Read more »

Rikki Neave, 6, ‘murdered in wood by 13-YEAR-OLD who posed naked body in “star shape” before going on run for 30 years'

A TEEN murdered a six-year-old boy and posed his naked body in a “star shape” in woodland before fleeing for 30 years, a court heard today. James Watson was just ... Read more »

Death's Door, Hitman Trilogy, and more coming to Xbox Game Pass, according to leaks

© Provided by Dot Esports The full list of games coming to the Xbox Game Pass in the second part of January have been leaked, according to Polish gaming site ... Read more »

‘Fundamental error' meant child killing went unsolved for 20 years, court told

A “fundamental error” left the murder of a six-year-old boy unsolved for more than 20 years, a court has heard. James Watson was aged just 13 when he allegedly launched ... Read more »

Royal Family: Prince Andrew could be 'last' ever Duke of York

Prince Andrew may be the last ever Duke of York, it has been revealed. Traditionally, the Duke of York is the title given to the monarch’s second son. But, royal ... Read more »

Germany ready to pay high price to defend values - Baerbock in Moscow

© Reuters/MAXIM SHEMETOV Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Moscow By Alexander Ratz and Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW (Reuters) – Germany is ready to ... Read more »

Trans activists will not be charged over picture of JK Rowling's home

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images Police will take no action against trans rights activists who posted a photograph of JK Rowling’s home online. The author had ... Read more »

Making premature promises to lift Plan B restrictions ‘unwise', WHO warns

© AFP via Getty Images David Nabarro Making premature promises to end Plan B restrictions in England is “premature”, the World Health Organisation has warned, as the coronavirus is “constantly ... Read more »

Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell may have been in relationship, former friend claims

© Getty GettyImages-544081426 copy.jpg An ITV documentary will tonight lay bare the close relationships between Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and reveal claims that the convicted sex trafficker ... Read more »

HMRC to investigate 170,000 child benefit claims - with penalty fines for some families

Tens of thousands of working families face being investigated after the government changed the law to allow HMRC to chase people who may have been overpaid child benefit. The tax ... Read more »

‘Habambuhay' documentary on 100 years of Philippine cinema to stream online this January

TBA Studios FB Take a look at how Philippine cinema grew in the past 100 years through the documentary “Habambuhay.” As Philippine cinema celebrates 100 years, the documentary series shares ... Read more »

Hospitals in Ethiopia's war-torn north reel from shortages: ICRC

© Yasuyoshi CHIBA The ICRC says it is ‘profoundly concerned’ about the shortage of medical supplies Doctors in Ethiopia’s Tigray region are recycling surgical gloves and using salt to disinfect ... Read more »

ANC NWC hears calls for Sisulu's axing over controversial opinion piece

CAPE TOWN – A short African National Congress (ANC) National Working Committee (NWC) meeting has put issues around Lindiwe Sisulu’s contentious opinion piece on ice. While it was not on ... Read more »

Goldman Sachs drops as 4th-quarter earnings miss estimates on equity trading decline

© Jason Lee/Reuters David Solomon, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs. Jason Lee/Reuters Goldman Sachs stock fell 4% on Monday after it reported a rare earnings miss in its fourth-quarter ... Read more »

Government wins appeal over contract for firm linked to Dominic Cummings

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters The court of appeal has overturned a ruling that found that a government contract given to a polling company with links to ... Read more »

Barclaycard giving customers up to £300 each in ‘mystery' payouts - are you due money?

Barclaycard is making payments worth up to £300 to customers who were overcharged while on repayment plans. The payouts are being received by both current and former credit card customers ... Read more »

Outcry as India shuts Kashmir Press Club

© TAUSEEF MUSTAFA The Kashmir Press Club had issued statements critical of police actions hindering the media The Indian government has shut down the Kashmir Press Club, prompting an outcry ... Read more »

The Gap Between Tesla And Its Rivals Is Widening

© insideEvs.com Copyright Tesla Model Y (MIC) (source: Tesla Greater China) By the middle of 2022, it will be interesting to see if Tesla or its German rivals sell more ... Read more »

Festive season road carnage due to 'alcohol, speeding, overtaking, wet roads'

1685 people lost their lives on South Africa’s roads over the 2021/2022 festive season, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed on Tuesday. The death toll is 14% higher than the 2020/2021 ... Read more »

Ukraine-Russia: Putin and Biden are caught in a high-stakes gamble

It is a very bad idea — for all concerned. © Provided by CNN Yet the drumbeat towards another war in Ukraine is amplifying itself, taking on a life of ... Read more »

Netflix star Ramakrishnan, sportscaster Cole among CSA's special award winners

TORONTO — “Never Have I Ever” star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and sportscaster Bob Cole are among those set to receive honours from this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.  The Academy of Canadian ... Read more »

Indonesia is building a new capital city because its current one is sinking

Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday passed a law approving the relocation of its capital from slowly sinking Jakarta to a site 2,000 kilometres away on jungle-clad Borneo island that will be ... Read more »

Apple HomePod 2: price, release date, features and latest news

© Provided by What Hi-Fi? Apple HomePod 2: price, release date, features and latest news Apple raised a few eyebrows when it discontinued the original HomePod last year. The company’s ... Read more »

Die Kryptowährung Worldcoin lässt sich im Kanton Zug nieder

Worldcoin will eine Kryptowährung an eine Milliarde Menschen verteilen. Die Iris dient als Erkennungsmerkmal, und Zug wird Sitz der Stiftung. Grosse Ambitionen sind in der Welt der Kryptowährung nicht rar. ... Read more »

Trauermücken bekämpfen: Das hilft wirklich gegen die lästigen Fliegen aus dem Blumentopf

© Bereitgestellt von Berliner Kurier Auf den ersten Blick sind sie vor allem eins: super-nervig. Auf den zweiten Blick verwechselt man sie dann schnell mit Obstfliegen – und versucht sie ... Read more »

Emmerdale writer confirms killer Meena Jutla's 'judgement day' will have twist

Emmerdale is lining up big scenes in 2022, as Meena Jutla is set to face a comeuppance with a “twist”. Bosses have teased “judgement day” for the serial killer, while ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic