Over the weekend Australia’s courts led a crushing blow to the world’s number one tennis player Novak Djokovic. He lost his appeal to stay and compete in the Australian open due to being unvaccinated.
Attorney for Australia’s Immigration Minister argued that Djokovic’s presence in Australia “may be a risk to the health of the Australian community.” They also used the argument that Djokovic has already affected vaccination rates in Serbia, his home country: “Mr. Djokovic’s iconic status must be highest in Serbia. In Djokovic’s home country, it is estimated that under half of the country is fully vaccinated,” he said.
Rebel News reports:
The decision was unanimous and Djokovic was ordered to pay the government’s legal costs.
In a statement Djokovic said:
“I would like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today’s Court hearing. I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this,” the statement reads. “I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.
“I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me.”
Earlier in the day Nicholas Wood SC, argued that the immigration minister’s reasoning for cancelling Djokovic’s visa – that it might incite anti-vaccination sentiment – could also be a concern by forcefully removing him from the country.
He stated that the Minister’s reasoning was irrational and did not properly consider both possible scenarios.
“It was irrational for the minister to only contemplate the prospect of the fostering of anti-vax sentiment that might accrue from Mr Djokovic playing tennis … and yet not consider the binary alternative, which was the prospect of anti-vax sentiment being fostered consequent to or following from coercive state action – being cancellation (of Djokovic’s visa) and expulsion.
“It is irrational or unreasonable to look at only one side of the coin.
“There was only one single item of evidence … that actually bore on this question and that item of evidence was the BBC report that only suggested anti-vax sentiment aggravated by the cancellation option.
“There was no evidence at all about anti-vax sentiment being fostered by the option the minister did not pursue, which is simply letting my client play tennis for two weeks.”
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Human Infection of H3N8 Bird Flu Reported in China
Will it ever end? On Tuesday this week China’s health authority recorded its first human infection of the H3N8 strain of avian influenza. The variant was identified in a 4-year-old boy from Henan province.
According to a statement from the National Health Commission (NHC) the child raises chickens and crows in his home city of Zhumadian. On April 5 he showed fever and other symptoms, then was admitted to a medical institution five days later for treatment.
The statement indicated while it has been found in horses, dogs, birds and seals around the world, no human cases have ever been reported. Fox News reports the commission “warned the public to avoid contact with sick and dead poultry, as well as live poultry, and pay attention to hygiene.”
In March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses had been detected in 13 states among commercial and backyard poultry, as well as in wild birds of 14 states.
Fortunately, the agency said H5N1 bird flu poses a low risk to the public.
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