Expert: COVID strain first detected in PH no longer ‘variant of interest’
MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization (WHO) has removed the COVID-19 variant first detected in the Philippines, known as the “Theta” or P.3 variant, from its list of “variants of interests.”
Dr. Eva Cutiongco-Dela Paz, an official from the Philippine Genome Center that conducts biosurveillance of COVID-19 variants, said the global health body reclassified the variant as “alerts for further monitoring.”
“I’d like you to note that Theta or P.3, the variant of interest first identified in the Philippines has been taken out of the list and now reclassified as a variant under alerts for further monitoring,” she said in an online forum.
Cutiongco-Dela Paz said the variant, which was classified as “variant of interest” in March, was downgraded on July 6.
On July 5, the Philippines recorded three new cases of the Theta variant, all of which have already recovered.
The DOH earlier debunked claims that the P.3 variant is “extremely contagious.”
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