COVID-19 Variant First Detected in the Philippines Found in England

Two cases of a new COVID-19 variant first detected in the Philippines have been found in England, Public Health England (PHE) confirmed.

According to PHE, one of the cases is linked with international travel while the other case is currently under investigation. Officials did not provide further details on the cases, such as where the cases were found in England.

PHE designated the variant known as P.3 as a Variant Under Investigation rather than a Variant of Concern like the Manaus variant.

“The variant includes a number of notable mutations including E484K and N501Y, which are found in several other Variants of Concern,” PHE said in a statement.

It is currently unknown if the P.3 variant is more contagious than the other variants and if the vaccines may not be as effective against it.

“All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken,” PHE stated.

PHE also identified two new cases of the Manaus variant known as P.1 — one in West Midlands and one in Haringey, London, bringing the total number in the United Kingdom to 12. Both cases are linked to international travel.

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