AFL star’s blunt advice for infected Dutton
AFL star Patrick Dangerfield has some advice for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
On Friday, just days after he met with Ivanka Trump and multiple high-ranking officials in the US, Mr Dutton confirmed he had contracted coronavirus and Dangerfield thought he had the perfect solution for the Australian politician.
In a since-deleted tweet, the Geelong gun wrote: "Send him to Christmas Island and see how he likes it."
As Home Affairs Minister, Mr Dutton somewhat controversially transported Australians trapped in China during the start of the virus outbreak to Christmas Island.
"The reality is people need to be accommodated for somewhere for up to 14 days. I can't clear out a hospital in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane," Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra about his decision.
After hitting delete, Dangerfield now seems to have a new approach to social media when he posted this on Twitter.
Blank tweets from now on...— Patrick Dangerfield (@dangerfield35) March 13, 2020
After waking on Friday morning with a temperature and sore throat, Mr Dutton admitted himself for a test which came back positive and he has remained in hospital in Queensland.
"I feel fine and will provide an update in due course," he said in a statement.
He attended Tuesday's cabinet meeting in person but joined Thursday's session of the National Security Committee via video link.
The deputy Chief Medical Officer told Prime Minister Scott Morrison that only those who had close contact with Mr Dutton in the 24 hours before Friday's symptoms need to self-isolate or be tested.
"That does not include the prime minister or any other members of the cabinet," a spokesperson for the prime minister said in a statement.
AFL TO LOCK FANS OUT
The 2020 AFL premiership season will start as scheduled but fans will be locked out of stadiums indefinitely as part of the league's measures to counter the spread of coronavirus.
Around 90,000 supporters had been expected to turn out for Thursday night's season opener between Richmond and Carlton but the MCG grandstands will now be empty.
The AFL took the step after deciding against delaying the start of the season following Friday's decision by the federal government to place a blanket ban on gatherings of 500 or more people.
League boss Gillon McLachlan flagged the move on Tuesday, with a decision to be made in close consultation with government medical experts.
"It is important that we take the advice of those that know best and that advice right now is to continue with matches but not to host mass gatherings, which can put everyone at risk," McLachlan said in a statement released late on Friday afternoon.
"I am disappointed for our fans but we cannot put them in a situation that potentially jeopardises the health and wellbeing of the whole community.
"The landscape is changing quickly; each organisation has their own set of challenges but our clubs, players, officials and fans know that the health and safety of all is the No. 1 priority.
"We are working through a major issue that impacts the wider community and we will work with all our clubs and industry partners to ensure that footy finds a way."
AFL clubs have implemented a range of measures, including excluding fans from training and banning autographs and selfies, in an attempt to protect players and staff.
In other developments on Friday, two VFL practice matches were cancelled and Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett issued a plea to fans to stand by his club as it braces for a huge financial hit.
In a letter posted on the club's website, Kennett urged supporters to buy memberships to help mitigate an expected drop in revenue of at least 10 per cent.