England finds 2 cases of COVID-19 variant linked to PH

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — Two cases of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines have been found in England. 

“One of the cases is linked with international travel and the other is currently under investigation,” the Public Health England or PHE said Tuesday in a statement.

PHE added it is investigating this new coronavirus variant, which carries “notable mutations including E484K and N501Y, which are found in several other variants of concern.”

The N501Y appears to make the virus easier to spread than previously known variants, while the E484K may reduce the protection provided by currently available vaccines as studies have shown it could evade some antibodies, experts have said.

The Philippines has 98 confirmed cases of the P.3 variant. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday that P.3 it is not yet considered by local authorities as a "variant of concern" and is still under investigation.

The country has also recorded cases of variants first discovered in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. These are considered as “variants of concern.”