COVID-19 Variants and related information for Competitive Exams

COVID-19 Variants and related information for Competitive Exams


SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines. We have seen World Health Organization (WHO) giving different names to the variants of COVID-19. 

Question on COVID-19 asked in SBI PO Mains exam

One such related question was asked in the general awareness section of SBI PO Mains exams held in January 2022. The question was about the Pango lineage of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The answer to the question was B.1.1.529. 

The Pango nomenclature is being used by researchers and public health agencies worldwide to track the transmission and spread of SARS-CoV-2, including variants of concern.

Important Points on COVID-19 variants for Upcoming Exams

In this post, we have compiled such information on COVID-19 that may be useful for upcoming bank and other competitive exams.

WHO label  Pango  lineage Earliest documented samples    Remarks
Alpha  B.1.1.7  United Kingdom, Sep-2020 Variant of Concern
Beta  B.1.351  South Africa, May-2020  Variant of Concern
Gamma  P.1  Brazil, Nov-2020 Variant of Concern
Delta  B.1.617.2 India, Oct-2020  Variant of Concern
Omicron* B.1.1.529 Multiple countries, Nov-2021 Variant of Concern
Lambda C.37 Peru, Dec-2020 Variants of interest (VOIs)
Mu B.1.621 Colombia, Jan-2021 Variants of interest (VOIs)

Presently, there are 5 variants of concern and 2 variants of interest of COVID-19.

Source: WHO

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