Jacinda Ardern says she believes coronavirus can be contained - 'I have absolute faith in New Zealanders'

Jacinda Ardern believes New Zealand can still contain the coronavirus pandemic, as long as Kiwis work together with Government and follow containment guidelines like social distancing.

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The Prime Minister spoke after another dramatic day in the global Covid-19 pandemic. Source: 1 NEWS

Today the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand climbed to 39. Five of the new cases are in Auckland, while two are in Waikato, two in Wellington, one in Canterbury and one in Hawke's Bay.

The Prime Minister appeared on 1 NEWS' Covid-19 special programme this evening. When asked by presenter Hilary Barry if there is still a chance it could be contained in New Zealand, Ms Ardern answered with a simple, “Yes I do.”

She pointed to other countries like Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong that have contained it. But she said in order to do so, New Zealanders need to work with Government. 

“So this is where I implore New Zealanders, if we are going to succeed, when we give out a message that we need to act differently, or behave differently, we really need everyone to come along with us," said Ms Ardern. 

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The announcement came today as Air New Zealand’s shares plummeted by 45 per cent. Source: 1 NEWS

“We need already to start that social distancing, reduce your contact with others as much as you can and be prepared for those extra messages to come through. This is a really tough time - a one in 100 year event - but I have absolute faith in New Zealanders. These are the times when we really pull together."

Ms Ardern also reiterated that schools won't be closed until there is community transmission. 

"Then we need to be prepared for wider closures."

Covid-19 social distancing: How do I do it and why?

She asked Kiwis to keep an eye on the Government's Covid-19 website, and that they are constantly trying to move ahead of the virus with guidelines. 

"Make sure you continue to wash your hands, stay home if sick. Prepare to work from home if you can," said Ms Ardern.

“People need to remain prepared for extra moves.”

Correction: Advice from the PM to "continue to wash your hands, stay home if sick" has been corrected from an earlier version which misquoted her saying "continue to wash your hands if sick".