Fact Check: Is there a new Coronavirus variant called Hihi?

Quick Take

A number of social media posts claim that a new variant of Coronavirus has been discovered in China and named Hihi. We fact-checked and found that the claim is false.

The Claim

A number of posts in multiple languages across the world have claimed that “a new variant called Hihi is discovered in China.” Such posts can be seen here and here. The news of Hihi was further reported in a Arabic edition of Sputnik News.

Fact Check

Is there a new Coronavirus variant called Hihi?

No. There is no new Coronavirus variant called Hihi.

After the spread of this fake news World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean office in a press conference to clarify that the news about Hihi is fake.

Doctor Abdinasir Abubakar on behalf of WHO confirmed that the various social media posta and news about the Hihi variant is fake, further adding, “People must be more careful with what they share about the pandemic,” he added.

How do you stay updated about new emerging variants of Coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains a record of all Coronavirus variants related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The list can be followed here. The variants are tracked by their place of origin and are categorised as variants of concern and variants of interest.

There is no mention of “Hihi” in the list maintained by WHO.

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