COVID-19 variants could be named after constellations once Greek alphabet is used up, WHO official says

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New coronavirus strains could be named after constellations once the Greek alphabet is used up, a World Health Organisation (WHO) boss has suggested.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, also warned it is “possible” new variants could emerge which evade vaccines.

The agency started naming new mutations after letters of the Greek alphabet back in May.

So far, 11 variants have been named – including the Delta, Beta and Alpha strains.

Dr Van Kerkhove told the Telegraph the WHO is looking at new names in case they go through all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet.

At the moment, constellations are being considered.

This means coronavirus variants could be named after constellations such as Orion, Leo, Gemini and Aries.

Dr Van Kerkhove told the newspaper: “We will possibly run out of the Greek alphabet, but we’re already looking at the next series of names.

Read more via The Telegraph