Covid in Australia: The Djokovic scandal has fueled anger in a country with a record number of cases and a lack of tests

SYDNEY: Behind the scandal is anger, criticism and a record number of Covid cases. News received by Novak Djokovic, the world number one in tennis medical exemption Entering Australia was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Australians. Already dissatisfied with the government’s handling of Fast Progress in the omicron variant outbreak of MERS-CoV.

The Daily cases of Covid-19 in Australia touched a record for the third consecutive day, – Hospital and testing facilities resources drained, criticism of the Prime Minister’s government multiplied, Scott Morrison.

Under the pressure of the beginning of the election year, Morrison announced further easing of testing requirements to shorten waiting lists, Free rapid antigen tests are available for retirees, low-income individuals, and veterans.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at this morning’s press conferenceLucas Koch – AAP

Cause the rapid increase in cases in recent weeks Long queues at PCR testing centers financed from public funds. This prompted the authorities to demand that citizens do They are only tested if they have symptoms, which in turn has led to a shortage of rapid antigen tests, It can be done at home.

Morrison said that The supply will remain scarce for the next few weeks, Although 200 million new tests will arrive in the next two months. “There are no magic solutions, period. “So this virus will continue to be a challenge to us, and it is important that we all keep our cool,” Morrison said today after a national cabinet meeting.

The authorities reported 64,774 new cases were registered, Mostly in New South Wales and Victoria, the country’s most populous states. This number exceeds the number recorded the previous day, which amounted to about 47,800 cases.

A rapid test center at a clinic on Bondi Beach in Sydney
A rapid test center at a clinic on Bondi Beach in SydneyBianca de Marchi – Picture of AAP

Infections have risen dramatically since 1,200 newspapers were published at the end of November, when the first case of oomicron was discovered in the country.

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Australia has recorded more than 612,000 cases and 2,290 deaths since the pandemic began, and more than half of those infections have been recorded in the past two weeks.

The authorities also received harsh criticism over the decision to reward Djokovic – who refused to reveal his vaccination status, but he expressed his objection to the mandatory vaccinations previously – A Medical exemption from playing in the Australian Open Tennis Championships.

The decision sparked protests on social media and criticism from fellow athletes, medical professionals and lawmakers.

In this photo on November 26, 2021, Serbian Novak Djokovic wears a mask during the national anthem ceremony before a Davis Cup match between his country and Austria in Innsbruck.
In this photo on November 26, 2021, Serbian Novak Djokovic wears a mask during the national anthem ceremony before a Davis Cup match between his country and Austria in Innsbruck.

Former Australian bases player Kevin Bartlett tweeted that Australians “taken for fools” While another former player, Corey McKiernan, tweeted: “People with loved ones who are dying / some who need urgent treatment are not allowed into their countries. Don’t go to Coles [un supermercado] Or to a café without vaccination, but if you’re number one in the world, do you get a pass?

Many Australians, particularly in Melbourne, which is home to the first pioneer At the end of this month, tennis of the year has been hit by a series of prolonged shutdowns over the past two years.

The federal and state government have strongly insisted on the importance of vaccines. as a result of, 90% of people over 16 years of age are given a double dose and a booster schedule is implemented.

Stephen Barnes, former vice president of the Australian Medical Association, said on Twitter that Djokovic’s approval “sends a terrible message to the millions who are striving to reduce” the risk of contracting Covid-19. “Vaccination shows respect, Novak.”

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The Australian Tennis Organization and the Victorian state government said Djokovic did not receive any special treatment in a blind review process involving a team of health experts.

When asked his opinion, Morrison said Djokovic would have to provide acceptable evidence that he could not be vaccinated for medical reasons.

“My opinion is that he should not be treated any differently than anyone else,” Morrison told reporters.

Reuters

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