Opinion: The court's decision to allow Djokovic to play poses a risk and undermines AU's health


On Monday, an Australian judge ordered that Novak Djokovic be released from immigration detention following the athlete's controversy pertaining to the Covid-19 vaccine. A decision that seems to undermine Australia's health protocols in place to please an anti-vaccination tennis player writes Victor. This opinion piece will dissect the matter.

Novak Djokovic during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open at the Melbourne Park tennis centre in Australia.William West / AFP

Novak Djokovic, the world's number one tennis player, gained a surprising win over the Australian government on Monday, reversing the rejection of his visa and ending his five-day incarceration.

A report from The Washington Post says the judge ordered that the decision to revoke Djokovic's visa due to his Covid-19 vaccination status be "quashed" in an emergency online court session.

He ordered that the unvaccinated tennis star be "now and forthwith freed from immigration detention."

The judge ordered that the decision to revoke Djokovic's visa due to his Covid-19 vaccination status be "quashed" in an emergency online court session.

He ordered that the unvaccinated tennis star be "now and forthwith freed from immigration detention."

So, what exactly happened?

Australia happens to have the world's excessive lockdown restrictions has been very popular when it comes to banning foreigners who attempt to visit the country during this pandemic.

A portion of those permitted entrance must be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption in cases where they cannot get the jab.

However, this is not something that Djokovic seemed to have had, which meant that he was largely contravening with the nation's health protocols.

According to the BBC, Djokovic's visit has sparked debate in Australia, where people may only enjoy the freedom of movement and travel provided they are fully vaccinated.

Djokovic was immediately brought to an overnight interrogation with border officers upon his arrival in Australia. Officials determined that he did not show compelling medical reasons for refusing to get vaccinated.

My views on the matter

Djokovic's lengths to try and fight his immigration detention due to not adhering to the nation's Covid-19 rules are quite astounding.

Almost every popular athlete competing in major competitions went out there to get their Covid-19 shots like millions of other people.

However, this is not something that this 'World's best Tennis player' has taken into consideration.

Lindsay Crouse penned a column for The New York Times, in which she writes that the Australian Border Force did what sports bodies are failing to do: say no.

This was a powerfully written piece that alluded to the importance of athletes not only being responsible for their health but the health of those that they go on the field with.

As such, what Djokovic did was put recklessly want to put the lives of other teammates in danger by insisting on performing without being inoculated.

It is worth noting that Djokovic had Covid a few weeks ago, and it remains unclear whether his PCR tests continue to show that he's Covid-positive.

This is because science says that a PCR Covid test can deliver positive results for weeks depending on how worse one's symptoms were.

According to Cleveland Clinic:

PCR test can detect minimal amounts of virus material. This means that the test can continue to detect fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus even after you've recovered from Covid-19 and are no longer contagious. So you may continue to test positive if you've had Covid-19 in the distant past, even though you can't spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others."

PCR tests are required and a must when travelling to Australia, as they are much more efficient in delivering results.

And if he is indeed travelling with a positive Covid-19 test, this is not fair to many people out there that get denied access to Australia for similar reasons.

The AFP has reported that the French journalist who interviewed Djokovic without knowing that the men's world number one had tested positive for coronavirus said he was told not to ask him about vaccination for the virus.

This further goes into play at how much health risk the tennis star was inflicting on the media as well, given that he still proceeded to do an interview even after he had tested positive.

Lastly, it is worth noting that Australia has done far better than Serbia - Djokovic's home country - at managing the novel coronavirus.

- Additional sourcing from The Washington Post, AFP, Reuters, BBC and New York Times.

- This opinion piece is heavily driven by subjective and objective views on Novak Djokovic's dilemma. The column cannot be entered into evidence or used in a court of law. Neither the Journalist nor NewsBreak can be held responsible for the outcome of what this whole situation is going to be like. The article only hedges out subjective points, and a large majority of them are meant to open a floor for discussion.

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