Jacinda Ardern demonstrates how she makes an improvised face mask during a video meeting. Reuters
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.
"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.
With both nations seeing significant drops in new infections, Ardern accepted Australian counterpart Scott Morrison's invitation to join a virtual meeting of the National Cabinet, which brings together Australia's regional and federal leaders.
The government will drop social distancing restrictions form midnight on Monday as it moves to a level 1 national alert from Level 2, Ardern told a news conference. Public and private events, the retail and hospitality industries and all public transport could resume without social distancing norms still in place across much of the world.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared on Monday New Zealand “beat the virus again” and announced restrictions in the country’s largest city would be eased, after a second Covid-19 wave was contained.
The three-Michelin starred chef has unveiled two signature recipes, hearty seafood risotto and flavourful ricotta cheese-centred tart, from his Dubai restaurant Social By Heinz Beck’s new family style, sharing menu.
Almost mid-way into Ramadan and you're running out of innovative recipes for Iftaar? Well, how about ditching the innovation and sticking to classic dishes that are hit amongst the young and the old.
Shiitake mushrooms have a dark brown cap and meaty texture. They’re available in most markets year-round, but you can use any type of dried wild mushroom or portobello mushrooms.