Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern dismisses rumours being spread on social media about COVID-19

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is dismissing rumours and information circulating on social media that hasn't been shared by the Government amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I've been watching for some days - and this is not unique to New Zealand - that in the midst of what is a global issue, as you would expect, there are a number of rumours that circulate," Ardern said on Thursday in Rotorua. 

"I am present on social media, I see it myself - I cannot go around and individually dismiss every single rumour I see on social media, as tempted as I might be.

"Instead, I want to send a clear message to the New Zealand public: We will share with you the most up-to-date information daily. You can trust us as a source of information. 

"You can also trust the Director-General of Health [Dr Ashley Bloomfield] and the Ministry of Health."

The Prime Minister pointed to the Government's website dedicated to providing information about the coronavirus spread:, and said to "dismiss anything else" you may see online. 

"We will continue to be your single source of truth and we will provide information frequently. We will share everything we can. Everything else you see [take with] a grain of salt."

Rumours have been spreading online of an imminent lockdown in Australia and New Zealand, and the Prime Minister dismissed it entirely. 

"That's the kind of thing that adds to the anxiety that people feel, so I continue to share the message: New Zealanders must prepare but do not panic," she said. 

"When you see those messages, remember that unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth."

The rumour has also been shut-down by Australian authorities

The current rules are that anyone arriving in New Zealand must self-isolate for 14 days. That applies to every nation, except for 17 Pacific Island regions. 

The Prime Minister said the world is facing an "unprecedented" situation, and acknowledged that every Kiwi will be feeling anxiety and will be looking abroad at how quickly the virus is spreading. 

"The world is experiencing this right now," Ardern said. "But I want to again just share that the last thing we want is that anxiety based on misinformation."

The Ministry of Health confirmed shortly after the Prime Minister spoke that New Zealand now has 28 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, up from 20 a day ago.