NZ Minister of Health says 'perfectly safe' to attend Pasifika,Polyfest despite coronavirus case

We don't have an outbreak in New Zealand, it's perfectly safe."

This is the confident response from Minister of Health David Clark after being asked if events like Pasifika and Polyfest should still go ahead, despite the announcement of New Zealand's first COVID-19 coronavirus case.

He says, "we're confident at this stage the chance of any spread into the community is very low, as long as people take the sensible precautions".

Clark says "if anyone is feeling unwell they shouldn't go to a big public event" and they should self-isolate. 

His advice to Pasifika and Polyfest event organisers is, "to make sure that their is public health information available for people who are concerned".

"We want people to be prepared, not to panic," says Clark.

To prevent the virus from re-entering New Zealand, the government has taken further action by implementing temporary travel restrictions from Iran and China, and increased border presence.

He says the cautious approach has served New Zealand "very well" and will also help New Zealand's 'Pacific neighbours'.

"We know that New Zealand has a world class health system and is able to cope with challenges, not a lot of our Pacific neighbours are as fortunate as us.

“So we see it as part of our responsibility to the Pacific to make sure we have the stringent health checks in place here at the borders.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister went on Facebook Live to answer and address the COVID-19 coronavirus situation in New Zealand.