Coronavirus pushes reluctant Aung San Suu Kyi to Facebook

Myanmar military personnel wearing protective clothing prepare to disinfect a Hindu temple as a preventive measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in Naypyidaw on April 1, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 01 April 2020

Coronavirus pushes reluctant Aung San Suu Kyi to Facebook

  • "I had no willingness to join Facebook at first," Suu Kyi wrote in the first post on the account
  • The new personal page has already drawn more than 400,000 likes

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi cited the coronavirus pandemic as the impetus for reluctantly creating her first personal Facebook account in a post on Wednesday.
Since coming to power in 2016, Suu Kyi has largely communicated through formal statements and public meetings. She rarely gives press conferences or interviews.
"I had no willingness to join Facebook at first," Suu Kyi wrote in the first post on the account, which was quickly verified with a blue tick to show it as genuine.
"Under the current circumstances, it was created in order to communicate with people faster and more efficiently related to Covid-19 challenges," said Suu Kyi.
Myanmar has confirmed 15 cases of the virus and one death. The health ministry has warned of a "major outbreak" after tens of thousands of migrant workers returned from neighboring Thailand.
Suu Kyi recently appeared in a video on state media, washing her hands and instructing others to do likewise to stop coronavirus spreading.
Government spokesman Zaw Htay shared the new Facebook account on his own page on Wednesday, saying it was legitimate.
"It is real... Not an April Fool," Nyi Nyi Tun, a spokesman for the president's office, told Reuters by phone.
The Nobel laureate, 74, spent 15 years under house arrest and missed the emergence of laptops and smartphones.
Facebook is the most important means of sharing information for many in the country of over 51 million. The social media site tells advertisers it has 23 million users living there.
A public Facebook page has operated for Suu Kyi since the time of her campaign against the former junta and has over one million followers.
The new personal page has already drawn more than 400,000 likes.


Egyptian news presenter Aya Shaheen tests positive for coronavirus

Updated 2 min 52 sec ago

Egyptian news presenter Aya Shaheen tests positive for coronavirus

  • Egypt has a total of 24,985 cases of coronavirus infections

DUBAI: Egyptian news presenter Aya Abdelrhman Shaheen revealed on Sunday that she tested positive for the coronavirus.
The eXtra News channel presenter posted on her Facebook page:  
“I have tested positive for the coronavirus. All I need in the upcoming period is your genuine prayers. I have great faith that I will overcome this virus thanks to your love and support. I will be back soon to tell you my experience with COVID-19.”

Egypt shortened a night curfew by one hour on Sunday as it recorded new highs in the daily increases in novel coronavirus cases and deaths.
The Health Ministry said 1,536 new cases had been confirmed including 46 deaths, bringing total cases to 24,985 and deaths to 959.
Earlier, the prime minister’s office said a night curfew would end at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. The curfew begins at 8 p.m., though its start had been brought forward to 5 p.m. last week during the holiday that follows the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan.
The curfew is one of a number of measures including the closure of schools, cafes and places of worship, that are aimed at curbing the pandemic.