SARS CoV 2 virus 1 1
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Genome sequence PGC
IMAGE | Philippine Genome Center/Screengrab, PGC, YouTube

MANILA – Kinumpirma ng Department of Health (DOH) na may bagong variant ng COVID-19 virus na SARS-CoV-2 na unang na-detect sa Pilipinas.

“The UP-PGC (Philippine Genome Center) previously detected 85 cases with a unique set of mutations, including both E484K and N501Y mutations. Upon verification with the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak Lineages (PANGOLIN), the said samples with these mutations have been reassigned to the P.3 variant, belonging to the B.1.1.28 lineage, to which the P.1 variant also belongs,” ayon sa press release.

Bukod sa 85, 13 karagdagang kaso ng P.3 ang na-detect ng PGC sa huling batch ng samples na sumailalim sa genome sequencing, kaya 98 na ang kabuuang bilang ng P.3 variant cases.

Kung maaalala, iniulat ng Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) kahapon na may isang biyahero mula Pilipinas ang natukoy na may kakaibang variant ng COVID-19 virus.

Walang binanggit ang DOH kung saan dito sa bansa galing ang samples na pinag-aralan, pero magugunita na noong Pebrero, iniulat ng Health department ang mga kaso ng nabanggit na mutations sa Central Visayas.

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Sa kabila nito, nilinaw ng DOH na hindi maituturing na variant of concern ang P.3. Umapela rin ang ahensya na iwasan ang pag-bansag dito na Philippine variant.

“The 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.”

Paliwanag ni Dr. Alethea de Guzman, officer-in-charge director ng DOH-Epidemiology Bureau, bagamat may parehong katangian ang P.3 sa mga binabantayang variant mula United Kingdom, South Africa, at Brazil, hindi pa ito maituturing na variant of concern tulad ng mga nadiskubre sa tatlong bansa.

“These mutations are found in other variants, too. Individually, they have potential clinical significance. But it is a unique set of mutations that constitute one variant. So the P.3, it’s N501Y + E484K + other mutations ang nakita,” ani Dr. De Guzman.

“But as per WHO, a variant becomes a VOC (variant of concern) after assessment that it has fulfilled the criteria.”

Sa ilalim ng criteria ng World Health Organization, tinatawag lang na variant of concern ang isang variant kung napatunayan na pinabilis nito ang transmission ng COVID, mas naging delikado, at nabawasan ang epekto ang health protocols, gamot o bakuna.

“Or assessed to be a VOC by WHO in consultation with the WHO SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Working Group,” nakasaad sa report ng WHO.

Sa ngayon tatlong variants of concern ang binabantayan ng WHO at mga eksperto.

Ang B.1.1.7 na unang na-detect sa UK; B.1.351 sa South Africa; at P.1 sa Brazil.