The health bureau has already recorded 98 cases of the variant in the country called P.3, which features a "unique set of mutations." It belongs to the same strain as P.1, the COVID-19 variant that was first detected in travelers from Brazil.
Little information or studies are available to prove that the P.3 variant is more contagious or can affect the effectiveness of vaccines.
Said the DOH, 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."
Before the P.3 variant was detected in the Philippines, Japanese health officials detected it in a traveler coming from the Philippines.