Jacinda Ardern ignores call from Australian PM Scott Morrison live on camera

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been caught awkwardly ignoring a call from Australian leader Scott Morrison during a press conference - a move The Project co-host Jeremy Corbett has likened to "treating ScoMo like he's treated climate change".

Ardern was joined by Health Minister David Clark during a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, giving the public an update on New Zealand's response to the coronavirus and announcing 2020's general election date.

While answering a question regarding a trans-Tasman collaboration to evacuate Australasians from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak in China, Ardern looked down at her buzzing phone on the lectern.

Smiling and suppressing a laugh, Ardern said: "PM Morrison just dialling in as we speak".

She brushed off the interruption, adding that New Zealand and Australia are "in close contact" over "the work we are doing on the ground" and "the situation of our citizens and residents".

"[We're] making sure we keep up those conversations and work together... what you would expect, that's exactly what we're doing."

The Project co-host Jeremy Corbett couldn't help but take a dig at the situation on Tuesday's episode.

"Our closest ally, she screens the call - treating ScoMo like he's treated climate change," he quipped.

"He popped up on her Tinder feed, and she was like 'swipe left'.

"What's more disturbing, him or Jacinda having Tinder up?"

The Project Australia's regular panellist and political journalist Peter van Onselen also weighed in on the rebuff, tweeting "priorities" alongside a shrugging emoji.

During his own press conference, Morrison confirmed that he spoke to Ardern on Tuesday afternoon regarding a collaborative response to the spread of coronavirus.

Five coronavirus patients are being treated in Australian hospitals after returning from the region. It's understood they are all in a stable condition.

During the briefing, Ardern confirmed the Government has no plans to evacuate the 53 New Zealanders in Wuhan, which is currently under lockdown. Twenty of them have contacted MFAT for assistance. 

Several nations, including France, Japan and the US, have made efforts to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan as the death toll rises to 106 in China. 

Ardern also confirmed the 2020 general election will be held on September 19.