The Modi government has asked the social networks to remove references to the “Indian Varient” of the coronavirus COVID-19, since it is officially called B.1.617. The Modi Government has been trying to build its sagging image after mishandling the second wave of COVID-19 crisis. Last month the government wanted social media to remove posts criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response to COVID-19. PM Narendra Modi has been called superspreader by some in the medical community.
At the end of March, a new variant of the double mutation coronavirus, also known as B.1.617, was discovered in India. This variant is more contagious than the “regular” SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, first identified in China’s Wuhan province in early 2020. Prior to this, it became known about the “British” and “Brazilian” variants of the coronavirus, which also differed in increased infectivity compared to the “Wuhan” coronavirus.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India has not publicised this attempt to muzzle the social media. In previous instances criticisms are mounted on Modi Government’s attempts to better its image than better the COVID-19 situation.
On May 12th, the Health Ministry said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not associated the term “Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in its 32-page document.