Jacinda Ardern makes her own mask before they become mandatory in New Zealand

The Prime Minister said she was 'taking matters into her own hands'

New Zealand PM shows how to make a face mask

New Zealand PM shows how to make a face mask
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday she was making her own face covering to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, raising the profile of a public health measure which will become mandatory across the country next week.

The Pacific nation of 5 million people had seemed to stop community transmission of Covid-19 due to tough lockdown measures but reintroduced restrictions in its largest city, Auckland, this month following a fresh outbreak.

With restrictions to scale back on Sunday, Ardern said in a Facebook post she was taking matters into her own hands before masks become compulsory on public transport across the country the following day.

At a meeting with local community health leader Dave Letele, "one of the things we talked about was face coverings, and how to make your own at home," Ardern, who faces a general election in October, wrote in the post.

Speaking with Dave Letele from Buttabean Motivation

As promised, here’s the video with Dave Letele from Buttabean Motivation. We caught up earlier this week to talk about how Auckland is doing, some of the COVID myths that are out there, and how to make your own face covering. Thanks again Dave! Really enjoyed chatting with you.

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Thursday, August 27, 2020

"I had a go at making one," she added, alongside a photo of a patch of fabric, scissors and two elastic hair ties.

A follow-up video showed her crafting a simple red mask, the colour of her Labour Party.

"That's my first time crafting," she said. "I'm going to pull out my glitter gun later."

About 150 people have been diagnosed as part of the cluster that originated in Auckland, which is home to 1.7 million people, but daily new case numbers have slowed to single digits this week.

On Friday, New Zealand reported five new cases in Auckland and seven more in quarantine after arriving from overseas.

The country has so far recorded just under 1,400 COVID-19 cases, including 22 deaths.