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Government of India directs social media platforms to remove content referring to ‘Indian variant’ of COVID-19

NEW DELHI: The Central Government of India has said that there is no Indian variant of the coronavirus. The Government has directed various social media platforms to immediately remove all content that refers to the Indian COVID-19 variant.

The B1617 variant is not an Indian variant and has not been quoted anywhere by the World Health Organization, the IT ministry said in a letter to social media. The letter also notes that online rumors circulating that an Indian variant of coronavirus is spreading across the countries are false.

B1617 is the fourth variant identified, after variants found in South Africa, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The World Health Organization has not linked this variant it to any specific country. The WHO currently recommends using this variant’s scientific name.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had yesterday said that this was a Singapore variant. But Singapore criticized Kejriwal’s statement, saying that there is no such Singapore variant and that the Indian variant is more transmissible.

Meanwhile, the Times of India reported that a social media executive said that it was difficult to remove all the content as there were lakhs of such posts.

India currently has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. Every day, over 250,000 infections and 4,000 deaths are recorded in the country. A further 2.57 lakh COVID-19 cases and 4,194 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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