Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Tennis star detained at Melbourne detention hotel after being denied access amid public outcry over ‘release’.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s live blog about the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

A summary of the most important developments:

  • More daily records were broken, with France reporting more than 332,000 cases on Wednesday in a boom driven by the Omicron variant.
  • Novak Djokovic, the world’s leading male tennis player, has been denied entry to Australia and is expected to be deported. The unvaccinated player said he was granted a medical exemption so he could compete in the Australian Open.

Here are the latest updates:

Morrison says Djokovic had no evidence of medical release

Scott Morrison spoke about Australia’s move to bar access to tennis star Novak Djokovic.

He told reporters at a press conference in Canberra that the Serb had not provided enough evidence to secure a medical release of COVID-19 vaccination.

“All I can say is that the evidence [for] medical exemption provided was found to be inadequate, “Morrison said, adding Djokovic was not” singled out “for investigation.

Djokovic was taken to a detention center pending his deportation.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison raises his hands as he speaks to reporters in CanberraAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra after Novak Djokovic was denied entry to the country [Lukas Coch/EPA]

Japan calls on US to tighten COVID base rules

Japan has asked the United States to strengthen COVID-19 measures at its military sites, including restrictions on people leaving U.S. bases, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Kyodo said the request was made during a phone call between Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Japan kept COVID-19 in check, but the southern island of Okinawa, where there is a large U.S. base, emerged as a new hotspot.

Read all the updates from 5 January here.

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