Language finally evolves to catch up with Covid-19 variants

That clutter of numbers, letters and full stops has now been replaced by a more practical naming system

01 June 2021 - 19:57 By Emma Farge

Coronavirus variants with clunky, alphanumeric names have now been assigned the letters of the Greek alphabet to simplify discussion and pronunciation while avoiding stigma.

The World Health Organisation revealed the new names on Monday amid criticism that those given by scientists to strains such as the SA variant – which goes by multiple names including B.1.351, 501Y.V2 and 20H/501Y.V2 – were too complicated...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.