JAKARTADAILY.ID - Reuters reported that Australia has seen more than 147,000 new cases by Thursday in Australia, with about 92,000 in the most populous state of New South Wales.
Although this number includes a backlog of positive at-home results dating back to the beginning of January, it doesn't mean the spike is to be ruled out. This might be the case for tennis athlete Novak Djokovic who found himself causing a stir with his unvaccinated status ahead of the Australian Open.
Although the athlete's name was included in the draw as top seed on Thursday, uncertainty over his participation remains as the government is mulling to revoke his visa for a second time. The case has been a huge debate just in time for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he campaigns for re-election in May.
The Morrison administration has won support for its tight border security. Nevertheless, the botched handling of Djokovic's visa has tarnished this reputation. The athlete was attempting to enter Melbourne when Australian Border Force found that his medical exemption from requirements for visitors to be inoculated against COVID-19 is invalid.
Djokovic also reported having submitted a wrong entry declaration, falsely claiming that he had not traveled abroad in the two weeks before leaving for Australia while in fact he had gone to Spain from Serbia.
On Monday, a court allowed the 34-year-old to stay based on the grounds that the seven-hour interview process in the middle of the night done by examining officials had been "unreasonable".
Fellow tennis athlete Martina Navratilova urged Djokovic to "suck it up" and go home during an interview with Australian TV.
"Sometimes your personal beliefs have to be trumped by what's good for the greater good, for those around you, for your peers," Navratilova said. "Get vaccinated or just don't go play."