The Philippine government declared the discovery of a new coronavirus strain in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday, APA reports citing CNN.
Health authorities traced and analysed 85 coronavirus cases “with a unique set of mutations.”
"We were waiting for them [the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak Lineages tool] to let us know if this is unique to the Philippines or was already discovered in other countries. They've come back to us and told us it really is a new variant," Anna Ong-Lim, member of the DOH technical advisory group said at an online briefing, as cited by CNN Philippines.
According to the DOH, the coronavirus mutation was named P.3, and 98 cases associated with this variant have been registered across the Philippines so far. However, the authorities need more information on the variant to evaluate its contagion and death risks.
The media outlet said that in February the Japanese Ministry of Health reported a case of a new strain in a man, aged 60, who arrived in Tokyo from the Philippines. He reportedly showed no symptoms of the disease.
Besides, the DOH noted that the country had detected the first case of the P.1 variant first discovered in Brazil.
To date, the Philippines have confirmed over 600,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 13,000 related fatalities.