Know why WHO named COVID 19 new variant Omicron; Read inside
Experts maintain that WHO decided to avoid Nu as this alphabet sounds like the English word new. And WHO avoided Xi so that the people do not take it as a reference to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, claims reports. WHO has been using Greek letters to refer to the most widely prevalent Coronavirus variants, which otherwise carry long scientific names. It had already used 12 letters of the Greek alphabet before a new variant emerged in South Africa earlier this week.
Omicron, which is derived from the Phoenician letter ayin, is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. “Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron,” the WHO said on Friday.
To note, Maldives has banned travellers from 7 African nations over Omicron Covid variant. Travellers will not be allowed into the Maldives from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, and Eswatini, its health ministry said in a statement.