Public Health England (PHE) said Tuesday that the P.3 variant which was first detected in the Philippines was being investigated after two cases were identified in England.
DOH Technical Advisory Group Member and Pediatric Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, who confirmed to them that a new variant has been seen in the Philippines but will not be called the Philippine variant and instead is P.3 so as not to be accustomed to being attached to name of a country because it causes discrimination.
Earlier, the Japan Health Ministry announced that a passenger from the Philippines tested positive for another variant of COVID-19.
Ong-Lim confirmed Japan’s announcement of the new variant from the Philippines.
P.3 variant first detected in PH being investigated in England
Ong-Lim added that there is not enough data to say whether the P. 3 variant is more contagious or causes more serious illness or has an association with higher mortality rates.
So far there are 98 P.3 variants in the country.
The P.3 variant according to the DOH is connected to the B.1.1.28 lineage which also includes the P.1 or Brazilian variant.
“The DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH emphasize that at present, the P.3 is NOT identified as a variant of concern as current available data are insufficient to conclude whether the variant will have significant public health implications,” said DOH.
In this regard, the DOH reported that 85 mutations including E484K and N501Y mutations identified in Central Visayas have been named as P.3 variant.
According to infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante, the new variants detected in the Philippines have faster transmissibility and more contagious.
“I transmitted [to] 2, the 2 will also transmit to 4, the 4 will also transmit to potential 8, that’s how quickly the exponential increase is,” Solante’s explanation of contamination by variants.