Unlinked Covid cases now priority in genome sequencing

Source: 1News

Whole genome sequencing for any unlinked cases of Covid-19 in the community in New Zealand will now be prioritised, in a bid to speed up the detection of Omicron cases.

Scientist in laboratory (file image)

The Ministry of Health on Monday said the new approach was being implemented due to new community cases of the variant in New Zealand, and evolving international data.

These samples will be treated as urgent and tested within 12-24 hours of being received by the laboratory.

Whole genome sequencing for any positive cases of Covid-19 in border-related workers and their families will also be prioritised, the Ministry of Health said.

Previously, sequencing was prioritised for cases of Covid-19 in international arrivals. Samples from that group will still be analysed as part of routine sequencing.

Eight of the 25 new cases of Covid-19 announced in New Zealand on Monday are Omicron.

Two of the new Omicron cases are in the Nelson region, five are in Auckland and one is in Palmerston North.