MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) clarified that a document going viral on social media regarding the new P.3 variant as “extremely contagious” has no basis and is untrue.
“There is no evidence yet that this P.3 variant found in our country is a variant of concern as compared to those found in countries like United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The variant remains to be a “variant under investigation” as this still lacks data to determine its impact on public health.
When asked about the document on social media, she said, “Nothing is true about that document. Tayo ay magpapalabas ng appropriate at tama na impormasyon sa inyong lahat once meron na tayong ganyang pag-aaral. Let us not make this into something na ikakapanic pa ng ating mga kababayan.”
(Nothing is true about that document. We will release appropriate and accurate information to everyone once the studies are completed. Let us not allow this be a source of panic to our countrymen.)
Vergeire also noted that dates in the document are inaccurate since it states data from 2020, whereas the P.3 variant was only recently detected through genome sequencing in over 100 samples.
The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) also released its statement about the same document and tagged it as “fake news.” The PGC added that there is “no published study yet to establish the transmissibility of the P.3 variant.”
Reporting by: Ghelo Carreon