Novak Djokovic is free to leave his immigration detention hotel with immediate effect. This comes after the Federal Circuit Court overruled the original decision to have his visa cancelled. The world number-1 will have his passport returned to him, and must be released immediately.

Trolls embitter proceedings

It’s been a frustrating day for everyone involved in the hearing. There were connection issues and when that was resolved, trolls infiltrated the public Microsoft Teams meeting. Users flooded the meeting, with some claiming to be members of the Serbian press. The cyberbullies played folk music, as well as pornographic videos.

After all of the disruptions, Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the government to release Djokovic from hotel quarantine within 30-minutes of his ruling. The Australian Circuit Court Judge also reinstated the 9-time Australian Open champion’s visa.

It’s not over just yet

Though the ruling was in favour of the vaccine-hesitant tennis star, he could still face deportation. Government lawyer Christopher Tran confirmed that the Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke, “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.”

That could see Novak Djokovic again face immigration detention and deportation.

The 34-year old is unvaccinated and was not given the assurance of entry into Australia without being fully inoculated. Government Lawyers confirmed as much in their court findings ahead of the hearing.

Djokovic’s legal team meanwhile broke the news that he tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16, and argued that he met the requirements for quarantine free travel into Australia. They further confirmed that Djokovic had not had a fever or any respiratory symptoms in the 72-hours leading up to his medical exemption application.

Covid controversy

The news of Novak’s Covid-19 infection also ignited controversy online. This comes after the Serbian made public appearances around the same time as his positive PCR test. On 14 December he attended a Euroleague Basketball game. He sat courtside without a mask.

Just a couple of days later, he received a commemorative stamp in his honour at an event hosted by the Serbian National Postal Service.

 

 

 

 

The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla has announced that from Wednesday 20 October, children between the ages of 12-17 years old will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

South Africa’s vaccination programme started in February with the Sisonke study which saw healthcare workers receive the Covid-19 vaccine first, then slowly other age groups were allowed to get their jab, culminating in any over 12 years old now being eligible for the jab.

There are a few useful things to remember:

  • There are 6 million children aged between 12 and 17 years old in South Africa
  • 12-17-year-olds will only receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • According to the Child Act, children 12 years and older are able to make health care decisions without the consent of their parents, guardian or caregiver.
  • Teenagers will be able to access public and private vaccination sites.
  • The Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will be updated before 20 October to allow for teenagers to register for the Covid-19 vaccine and also report any possible side effects.
  • No one can be intimidated when it comes to choosing to be vaccinated, it is a voluntary health care programme – similarly, no one can be stopped from gaining access to health care.

Phaahla said that they have taken every precaution before authorising this cohort to get their jab. He made reference to international research which showed it was far safer for over 12’s to only receive one jab of the Pfizer vaccine. “We can assure parents and young people that even where [cases of myocarditis] have been noticed, there has been no permanent risk. We’re just taking precaution in this case,” said Joe Phaahla.

America, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, China and India are already successfully vaccinated teenagers 12 years and older.

 

An employment law expert says, at this stage, it appears getting a Covid-19 vaccine will remain a voluntary decision.

Jamie Jacobs, from the firm Webber-Wentzel, who participated in a virtual panel-discussion hosted by Cape Town Tourism, says employers should, for now, engage with their employees on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, to encourage them to get the jab.

Jacobs says current vaccination-legislation does not make injections compulsory.

Watch the full briefing here.

Related articles:

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and supporters have signed an open letter to G7 leaders calling on them to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase.

This as the G7 meeting is set to get underway tomorrow.

UNICEF says the world has a lot of COVID-19 vaccines, but currently less than 1% of global supply is reaching people in low-income countries.

That is why they are urging richer nations to #DonateDosesNow.

Read the open letter HERE.

Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, who is a resident in the West Coast District of the Western Cape, received her vaccination today at the Wesbank Community Hall in Malmesbury.

Premier Alan Winde says Tannie Evita is helping to send an important message to residents across the province that the vaccine is safe and that it offers excellent protection against severe COVID-19 related illness and death.

Also see: WHO concerned about increase in Covid-19 infections in sub-Saharan African countries

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Tannie Evita for once again leading from the front in our country. This, of course, is not the first time she has helped with important health awareness campaigns, having been a powerful advocate for HIV awareness and education. I admire her dedication, and I am personally a very big fan!”

Tannie Evita said: “Yes, I am so very relieved to get my vaccine. But I have a smartphone. I have a computer. I have internet. I have a car. I am 85 and I still drive myself. But many, many of my generation and younger don’t know how to register. So if you know how and someone doesn’t – please help them to register. And if you don’t know, then ask someone to help you. My son De Kock registered me; I couldn’t get the little blue letters on the screen to turn black. This is why we do need to be able to cope with walk-ins and information in all eleven languages. And I was so pleased to hear Premier Alan Winde and the Western Cape Government responding to this obvious need to manage and to allow walk-ins.”

Tannie Evita after receiving her vaccine

This week, the Western Cape will increase the number of public vaccination service points to over 137 which includes, public and private sites, as well as temporary outreaches to places like old age homes.

Hundreds of sites will open across the Western Cape:

• 48 sites in the Overberg District
• 48 sites in the Cape Winelands District
• 14 sites in the Central Karoo District
• 53 sites in the West Coast District, and
• 41 sites in the Garden Route District

 

 

 

If you know someone who is over 60 and needs help to register, please do your best to assist. It will take just 6 minutes of your time.

Registration is simple and can be done by:

• visiting https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/ or www.westerncape.gov.za
• dialing *134*832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks); or
WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.