Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern seeks officials' advice ahead of Christchurch memorial and Pasifika Festival

Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern seeks officials' advice ahead of Christchurch memorial and Pasifika Festival

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is seeking advice from officials about whether it is safe to go ahead with two large public events this weekend amid the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. 

Ardern said on Tuesday she has been talking to the Ministry of Health and the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield about the Christchurch mosque attack memorial and the Pasifika Festival. 

"I have asked for specific advice from the Ministry of Health and the director-general of health over two large events happening this week just to reassure myself that we're using all the information we have, and I expect to get that advice today."

Newshub asked Ardern if the memorial could potentially be cancelled, and she said "no". 

"I've just highlighted for the director-general that we have two large events in New Zealand this week, and asked again for his advice on managing those events," the PM said. 

"New Zealand does not have a community outbreak at this point. We have cases that are identified where we've been able to do contact tracing, so we're not at the point where other governments around the world have cancelled events."

The Pasifika Festival is happening at Auckland's Western Springs on Saturday while a memorial for the March 15 Christchurch terror attack is happening on Sunday at Hagley Park. 

New Zealand has five confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

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