India took a strong objection to the use of the term so-called ‘Indian variant’ for the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus on social media posts.
It is learnt from reliable sources that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MIETY) has written an advisory to social media intermediaries to take down such content with an immediate effect.
Twitter, Facebook, Koo and all other popular social media sites have been asked by the Indian government to take action in this regard.
In its advisory, India also cited that the World Health Organisation (WHO), saying that there is nothing called Indian variant scientifically proven.
The WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus.
India believes there is a deliberate attempt to peddle misinformation by terming the B.1.617 variant as Indian virus, while the WHO never identifies the viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reported from.
“WHO does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reported from. We refer to them by their scientific names and request all to do the same for consistency,” tweeted WHO.
Earlier during the first wave of the pandemic, China also objected to using the term ‘Wuhan virus’.
Recently, a full-blown diplomatic row took place when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that a variant of the coronavirus originating from Singapore may affect children.
Singapore accused Kejriwal of spreading misinformation and asked social media sites in Singapore to remove such content.
Here back home, the ruling BJP is also up in arms against the senior Congress leader Kamal Nath for terming B.1.617 variant as Indian virus.
Some lawmakers even suggested to book the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister on treason charges for using the term. (ANI)