The government of India, on Wednesday, issued a statement regarding the new coronavirus variant being termed as “Indian Variant”.

Referring to certain media reports, the government said that the new COVID variant, which is being called the “Indian Variant” has been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the B.1.617 variant and it has nothing to do with the name of the country.

“Several media reports have covered the news of WHO classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern. Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an “Indian Variant”. These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded,” said the Government of India.

“This is to clarify that WHO has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32-page document. In fact, the word “Indian” has not been used in its report on the matter,” it added.

WHO South-East Asia in a tweet said, “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. @PTI_News @PIB_India @ANI @timesofindia @htTweets @IndianExpress @the_hindu @MoHFW_INDIA”