Southeast Asia is facing a strain of the new coronavirus that the Philippines, which faces the region’s largest outbreak, is studying to see whether the mutation makes it more infectious. The strain, earlier seen in other parts of the world and called D614G, was found in a Malaysian cluster of 45 cases. It started from someone who returned from India and breached his 14-day home quarantine. Philippines detected the strain among random COVID-19 samples in the largest city of its capital region. The mutation “is said to have a higher possibility of transmission or infectiousness, but we still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen,” Philippines’ Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing on August 17. The strain has been found in many other countries and has become the predominant variant in Europe and the US. World Health Organization says there’s no evidence the strain leads to a more severe disease. The mutation has also been detected in recent outbreaks in China. The man who returned from India had tested negative when he arrived in Malaysia. He has since been sentenced to five months in prison and fined for breaching quarantine. The number of cases in India has reached 27,02,743 with 51,797 deaths. Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 21.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 13.6 million people have recovered. Almost 774,300 people have died.