Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Djokovic practices in Melbourne for visa decision; WHO approves new treatments.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is facing even more allegations of his office holding ‘boozy parties’ while everyone else in the country could not mix due to strict rules on social distancing.

The latest revelations – reported in the Daily Telegraph late Thursday – say two separate departure parties were held on the night of April 16 last year.

Johnson was forced to apologize on Wednesday after it emerged he had a meet at his office during the May 2020 restriction, but he insisted he thought it was a job opportunity.

Police said they would not investigate unless an internal investigation found evidence of possible criminal offenses.

A summary of other recent COVID-19 developments:

  • President Joe Biden of the United States says his administration will purchase 500 million faster COVID-19 tests to better address the distribution of the Omicron variant.
  • French teachers have gone on strike over their government’s “chaotic” virus strategy for schools.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering expanding a global public health emergency that declared it over the coronavirus almost two years ago.

Here are the latest updates:

More party revelations for British Prime Minister Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing new allegations from his office who were partying while citizens were told not to gather for social events because of COVID-19.

The right-wing Daily Telegraph says the latest rallies took place on April 16 last year – the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral – despite rules limiting the size of indoor and outdoor events.

The newspaper’s political correspondent Tony Diver tweeted the report, saying: “Number 10 had two drinks before the queen mourned Prince Philip alone. Staff drank and danced at points until the early hours of the morning.”

Johnson is already under pressure, with some in his party calling for his resignation after admitting on Wednesday that he attended a staff drink meeting during the closing of May 2020. He told parliament he thought it was a job opportunity.

Djokovic practices as the clock ticks on Australia’s visa decision

Tennis star Novak Djokovic trained in Melbourne this morning as the Australian government prepares to announce its decision on his visa status.

Immigration officials canceled his visa when he arrived in the country last week ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament, citing insufficient evidence of a medical release of COVID-19 vaccination.

That decision was overturned by a court.

The top men’s tennis player is awaiting a decision on his visa from Immigration Minister Alex Hawk.

Novak Djokovic in blue shorts, t-shorts and shoes plays a hit during practice at Melbourne ParkNovak Djokovic trains at Melbourne Park while Australia’s immigration minister considers revoking the player’s visa [Diego Fedele/AAP Image via Reuters]

WHO approves new COVID-19 treatments

A WHO panel of experts added two more drugs to its guidelines for recommended treatments for COVID-19.

The drug baricitinib, which is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical COVID-19, in combination with corticosteroids. Sotrovimab, an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment, received a “conditional recommendation” for those with non-severe COVID-19 but at the highest risk for hospitalization.

You can read more about that story here.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

You can read all the updates from January 13 here.

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