The Indian government wrote to all social media firms to delete content referring to “Indian Variant.”
The coronavirus variant B.1.617 was first discovered in India in 2020. Recently, the WHO classified it a global concern.
Unfortunately, people are referring to it as an Indian variant because it was first discovered in the said country.
After the WHO classified it as a global concern, the Indian government issued a statement saying that reports that use the term Indian variant didn’t have any basis.
Last Friday, the IT ministry of Indian asked the social media firms to delete all content that implies coronavirus Indian variant.
No Such Thing as Indian Variant
The Indian government stated that it is wrong to refer to B.1.617 variant as an Indian variant, just because it was first discovered in India. The WHO has not used the Indian variant to define B.1.617.
The government wanted to make it clear that mentioning Indian variants could spread misinformation and miscommunication. It could also damage the country’s image while it’s battling against the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Unfortunately, many doctors and health experts around the world referred to a coronavirus variant based on where it was first identified.
Hence, they used to call COVID-19 a China virus because it was first discovered in China. Then, there are South Africa and Brazil variants.
Difficult to Remove
Social media platforms, however, have difficulties removing all content that uses the word Indian variant. The reason for this is that there are thousands of posts with those terms.
If the platforms would heed the government’s request, it could lead to censoring keywords going forward.
India is considered one of the biggest markets for Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other digital platforms. The government also introduced guidelines that may help in minimizing the misuse of social media platforms.
New Delhi, India’s capital, will begin to relax its coronavirus lockdown next week. But it will only do so if new cases will continue to drop.
It recently reported over 240,000 new cases within 24 hours. It is the lowest new cases in one month.
For several weeks now, the country struggled to contain the infection resulting in a devastating second wave of coronavirus.
Because of that, it paralyzed its health system. It has also led to the scarcity of oxygen supplies.
New Delhi is one of the worst-hit cities. It has been in lockdown since April 20. However, new cases declined in recent weeks.
If these would continue to drop, then the city would begin the process of unlocking.
New cases decreased after peaking on May 9.
Unfortunately, experts warned the country that it could face a third wave of infections in the coming months if it would start to ease its restrictions.
Unlike other countries, many cities and states in India have low vaccination rates because of the shortage of supplies.
The country has only vaccinated over 41.6 million people, even though it is the world’s largest producer of vaccines.