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Philippines Covid variant arrives in UK – alert as dozens of new cases found by PHE

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The new varient comes after two new cases of the P1 variant first reported in Manaus, Brazil, have been found in the London area of Haringey and the West Midlands. Public Health England (PHE) said the Philippines variant contains a number of “notable mutations”, including the E484K spike protein found in the Manaus variant.

Concerns have been raised that vaccines may not be as effective against this protein.

The new strain has been designated as a variant under investigation (VUI) rather than a variant of concern, such as the Manaus strain.

Public Health England said one of the cases was linked to international travel and the other is still being investigated, but did not confirm where either had been found.

It came after the Philippines reported 33 cases of a new variant on March 9.

PHE said: “On March 9, PHE noted a report of 33 cases of a new variant reported by the Philippines.”

It added: “The variant includes a number of notable mutations including E484K and N501Y, which are found in several other variants of concern.

“Public Health England has identified two cases of this variant in England.

“One of the cases is linked with international travel and the other is currently under investigation.

“All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken.”

More to follow…



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