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Genome sequence from fresh New Zealand cluster “closely resembles” patterns from UK and Australia

From CNN’s Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Dr. Ashley Bloomfield speaks during a Covid-19 new briefing on August 13, in Wellington, New Zealand. 
Dr. Ashley Bloomfield speaks during a Covid-19 new briefing on August 13, in Wellington, New Zealand.  Mark Tantrum/Getty Images

New Zealand’s top health official on Thursday said that the genome sequence from the country’s new coronavirus cluster “closely resembles” patterns from the United Kingdom and Australia.

“What we do know is that the genome sequence of the new cases broadly most closely resemble the patterns from the UK and Australia,” the country’s Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said. 

Bloomfield added that the genome sequencing investigations are still ongoing and there is currently “no exact link” between the genome sequence of the new locally transmitted cases and imported cases in managed isolation quarantine facilities.  

New cluster: New Zealand authorities reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, of which 13 were locally transmitted. 

Three of the new cases were from employees at Americold, the workplace of one of the previously reported cases, and an additional seven cases were family members of employees at the firm. 

Authorities are testing at Americold’s warehouse for Covid-19, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern emphasized that the most likely cause of the outbreak was human to human transmission.

“We are wanting to rule everything out,” she said. 

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