Daily News Roundup

February 1, 2021


Monday, Feb 1

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained in an early morning raid along with other senior ruling party figures, according to the ABC.

The South-East Asian nation’s new parliament was due to meet today for the first time since the November election, which was won in a landslide by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, but which the military says was marred by fraud.

National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Myo Nyunt said Ms Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning.

“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he said, adding he also expected to be detained.

A group of Western powers including the United States issued a joint statement on Friday warning against “any attempt to alter the outcome of the elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition”.

In a statement on Sunday, the military accused the foreign diplomats of making “unwarranted assumptions”.

Phone lines to Naypyidaw, the capital, were not reachable in the early hours of Monday.

A military spokesman did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

An NLD lawmaker, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said another of those detained was Han Thar Myint, a member of the party’s central executive committee.


Western Australia’s contact tracing capabilities are being tested for the first time after a hotel quarantine security guard returned a positive COVID-19 result, sparking a five-day shutdown of the state’s most populous regions.

As of 6:00pm AWST yesterday, Perth, the Peel region and the South West region went into a five-day lockdown, with people in those areas required to stay at home.

While the announcement came as a shock to the public, the state’s contact tracing team had swung into action hours earlier, tracking down the security guard’s movements.

Results from genomic testing are not expected until later today or tomorrow, but authorities have flagged the man could have the UK strain of the virus as he was on a hotel floor where a positive case was under quarantine.

The UK strain is known to be far more contagious than the original.

Mass testing of people living in the same area has been underway, along with those from known exposure sites.

Queues formed yesterday around city clinics, with Royal Perth staying open until 10:00pm last night to cope with the influx.

The man in his twenties worked at a quarantine hotel in the Perth CBD on Tuesday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 27, at which stage he is believed to have contracted the virus.

On Thursday, January 28, he developed symptoms and called in sick to work before being tested.

WA previously required hotel quarantine workers to be tested once every seven days, but that was recently upgraded to once a day.

The patient had tested negative for the virus on January 15, January 17, and January 23.

Because he returned negative test results prior to those shifts, contact tracers are focusing on a 6-day period of his movements from January 25 to 30.

A list of places he had been to over that time was released on Sunday, and authorities have warned that list may grow over the coming days.

The patient did use the SafeWA app to record his movements, the WA Premier said.

The security guard lives in a unit in the Maylands area in inner-city Perth with three other housemates.

They have all been contacted, tested and placed under 14-day quarantine at a state-run facility.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook yesterday said the three close contacts had tested negative for the virus, however, that was expected to change.

“I should note that, pleasingly, the gentleman’s housemates at this point in time have returned a negative result, so that’s a sign that we have really got on top of this very early on,” Mr Cook said on Sunday.

“But it is a serious incident.”

While at this stage authorities believe the three housemates are unlikely to have been infectious while out in the community, contact tracers will likely be working to determine their movements over recent days as well.

The hotel quarantine security guard worked a second job as a driver for a rideshare company.

The infected man was working at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Perth.

WA Premier Mark McGowan yesterday stressed he was not believed to have worked that job while infectious.

“The advice I have is that he has not worked a second job since he contracted the virus,” Mr McGowan said.

“We don’t know how the security guard contracted the virus in the hotel.

“You’ve seen this everywhere all over the world, this virus is insidious, it’s highly transmissible.

“Sometimes we don’t even know if any mistakes or any breaches of protocol took place — we’ll find that out, but it is very difficult to control.”

The Premier was quizzed as to why lessons had not been learned from Victoria, where the hotel quarantine inquiry revealed security guards working other jobs was a serious flaw in its system.

“Working up the protocols around second jobs for security or cleaners or those sorts of things is difficult, because policing it and making sure people don’t do a second job is hard,” he said.

“But that’s the work that has been going on now for a considerable period of time.

“It’s not easy and all the states have struggled with this.”


Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old World War II veteran who captivated the British public in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic with his fundraising efforts, has been hospitalised with COVID-19, his daughter says.

Captain Sir Tom was thrust into the spotlight in April when he was filmed walking laps, with the help of a frame, around his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, north of London.

He hoped to raise 1,000 pounds. 

Instead, he raised about 31 million pounds ($57 million) for the National Health Service, broke two Guinness world records, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, scored a number one single recording You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, wrote an autobiography and helped set up a charity.

“I wanted to update everybody that today … my father was admitted to hospital,” his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said on Twitter.

“Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for COVID-19. 

“He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing. He is being treated in a ward, although he is not in ICU.”

She said he had been receiving “remarkable” medical care in the past few weeks. 

Captain Sir Tom Moore was knighted in a unique Windsor Castle ceremony.

The family said they knew the staff at Bedford Hospital would do all they could to make him comfortable and that he would “hopefully return home as soon as possible”, she added.

Britain has vaccinated nearly 9 million people against coronavirus, with the over-80s in one of the top priority groups. 

But Sky News quoted a family representative as saying Captain Sir Tom had not yet received a vaccine because he was being treated for pneumonia.

His hospitalisation prompted an outpouring of support.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter his thoughts were with Captain Sir Tom and his family. 

“You’ve inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery,” Mr Johnson said.

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer also wished him well.

“The whole nation hopes you get well soon @captaintommoore. You’ve been an inspiration to us all throughout this crisis,” he said.


TV presenter and game show host Andrew O’Keefe has been charged by police over an alleged domestic assault on his partner in Sydney’s east overnight, news.com reports

Mr O’Keefe, 49, is due to face Waverley Local Court on Thursday after being arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police will allege the former Weekend Sunrise and current The Chase host assaulted his rumoured partner and Sydney-based doctor Orly Lavee at an apartment in Randwick just before 1am.

He was arrested on a nearby street at about 3.30am before being taken to Maroubra police station and charged with common assault.

Police granted the performer bail on the condition he not contact or approach Dr Lavee unless through a lawyer.

Mr O’Keefe and Seven West Media have been contacted for comment.

An interim apprehended violence order has also been granted on behalf of Dr Lavee, 41, which will be heard in court on Thursday alongside the assault charge.

Under the terms of the court order made on Sunday, the performer is not to contact, threaten, assault or intimidate his partner or go to her house.

NSW Police said in a statement on Sunday: “Just before 1am, officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command attended a Randwick unit, after reports a 41-year-old woman had allegedly been assaulted in a domestic violence related incident.

“Following inquiries, police arrested a 49-year-old man nearby about 3.30am.

“He was taken to Maroubra police station where he was charged with common assault (DV) and granted conditional bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on Thursday 4 February 2021.”

Mr O’Keefe, a former lawyer and son of ex-NSW Supreme Court Justice Barry O’Keefe, was one of the founding members of domestic violence charity the White Ribbon Foundation.

He served as its chairman in 2017. The organisation went into liquidation in 2019.

The former Deal or No Deal presenter was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2017 for his service to television and charity work.

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