Health department reacts to protestors supporting Djokovic – “Our role was not to assess eligibility for visa”

The Victorian health department reacted to the protestors who are supporting World No. 1 Novak Djokovic as he is detained at a facility.

Djokovic is in real danger of being deported after the hearing regarding his situation on Monday. His failure to provide sufficient proof for a vaccination or a medical exemption has landed him in hot water.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner was taken to the Park Hotel in Carlton on Thursday, which is layman’s terms is a location for housing detainees flown from Manus Island and Nauru. The situation received widespread media attention and a ton of coverage from everywhere.

The Victorian health department reacted to the protestors who are supporting Djokovic, and said that their anger was misdirected.

Victoria’s Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said that the medical panel that provided the Serbian with the exemption to play at the Australian Open was independent of the Visa issues he is facing.

“How players and support staff enter the country to participate in the Australian Open … is a matter for the commonwealth government and Tennis Australia,” Ms. Allan said on Friday, as quoted by the West Australian.

“The role of the (Victorian) panel was to assess the medical documentation, not to assess their eligibility for a visa.”

Supporters of Serbia's Novak Djokovic protest and sing with candles outside a quarantine facility where Djokovic is believed to be staying, in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 6, 2022. The Australian government has denied No. 1-ranked Djokovic entry to defend his title in the year's first tennis major and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to the country's COVID-19 vaccination rules. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
Supporters of Djokovic protest and sing with candles. Source: AP

No exceptions needed

Djokovic was taken to the Outside the hotel on Friday. Upon hearing the news, about 100 protesters took to the streets and unfurled a large banner featuring his portrait. They also stubbornly waved Serbian flags.

However, many health activists slammed Djokovic’s detainment for a different reason. They took the side of the 36 other refugees in the same hotel, and said that the unvaccinated tennis superstar is a health hazard to them.

“The fact that all eyes are on the Park Hotel because a wealthy tennis player is in there is outrageous,” activist Omar Hassan said.

“The whole world should have their eyes on this hotel prison in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD because of the refugees who are indefinitely locked up and tortured in there.”

Read more: Kyrgios pleads Nadal and Djokovic to play at AO 2022 – “Would be an absolute disaster if they aren’t there”

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