New Zealand is "very, very open" to joining the US and Australia in an independent review into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister says.
After reportedly originating at a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, coronavirus has spread worldwide, infecting more than 2.5 million people and contributing to the deaths of 177,000. Both figures are expected to rise much higher in the coming months.
In recent days, both the US and Australia have been piling pressure on China, questioning the role it played in COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump said China should face major consequences if it were found to be "knowingly responsible" for the worldwide crisis, while Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia would "absolutely insist" on an independent review into the origins of the disease.
On Wednesday, Jacinda Ardern added New Zealand to the list of countries that would support such a review into the origins of the disease - although she hesitated to describe it as an 'inquiry', the word adopted by global media, as she believes it's too formal.
At a press conference from the Beehive Theatrette on Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said the review would be "common sense" - though didn't mention China's role in the outbreak specifically.
"There have been politicians around the world who have said, 'Look, in the aftermath of this, we do need to look at what happened and whether or not there are areas we could as a global community improve our response'," she explained.
"I think that's common sense. Of course, we want to make sure we learn from what has been a global pandemic that has shaken the globe in a way that none other has for many decades.
"We need to learn from it, and I think of course New Zealand would be very, very open to making sure that, if there is something like this in the future, we have the best response as a globe that we possibly could."
The COVID-19 outbreak has hammered New Zealand. Although the number of new daily cases of coronavirus continues to drop, there have been 13 deaths, and the nationwide lockdown has plunged us into debt and caused major damage to the economy.
On Wednesday, six new cases and one new death from COVID-19 were reported.