Australia to deport Djokovic as Omicron halts Grammy Awards

Australia vowed to deport tennis world number one Novak Djokovic on Thursday after he failed to meet stringent pandemic entry requirements, as Omicron’s relentless march forced organisers to cancel the Grammys and Sundance Film Festival.

The vaccine-sceptic Serb failed to provide evidence of double vaccination or a medical exemption when he landed to defend his Australian Open crown, prompting authorities to cancel his visa and hold him at the airport overnight.

“Rules are rules and there are no special cases,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Djokovic said he had received a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open before departing for Melbourne, sparking fury among Australians who have endured harsh restrictions since the heavily mutated Omicron variant entered the country.

Tennis’ first grand slam of the year is the latest sporting event to struggle with health measures, with next month’s Beijing Olympics also impacted by small outbreaks across China that have seen stay-at-home restrictions imposed on millions of people.

Infections in China have reached a high not seen since March 2020 although they remain low by international standards — with 189 cases reported on Thursday.

In the historic city of Xi’an, where 13 million people have been placed under strict home confinement for two weeks, the restrictions led to tragedy when an eight-month pregnant woman miscarried after a hospital refused her entry without a Covid test.

Videos of the woman sitting on a plastic stool outside the Gaoxin Hospital surrounded by a pool of blood went viral on social media, with Chinese authorities later saying they had punished the officials involved.

Meanwhile, Japan’s foreign minister urged his US counterpart to consider restricting American troop movements in the country after a surge in Covid cases on bases and surrounding communities.

The surge took place in Okinawa, which hosts most of the US forces in Japan, with the region’s governor blaming the rise on clusters first seen among US troops.

The southern island region reported 623 cases on Wednesday — nearly triple the previous day’s figure.

Virus hits entertainment

Omicron brought down the curtain on both the Grammy music awards and Sundance Film Festival, with over 2.5 million new infections reported across the United States since Monday.

Citing “uncertainty” surrounding the new coronavirus variant, the Recording Academy indefinitely postponed the music awards, while Sundance organisers said the festival would go virtual.

Omicron accounted for around 95 percent of US cases in the week ending January 1, with new hospitalisations rising.

Europe has also struggled to contain Omicron, the most transmissible Covid-19 variant to date, with official data showing one in 15 people in England were infected with the virus in 2021’s final week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared existing travel curbs ineffective against the strain and his government scrapped testing and quarantine measures for travellers.

In Italy, the government said it would make vaccination mandatory for anyone over 50 — nearly half the population — to combat surging infections.

France set a record for new cases over a 24-hour period on Wednesday, according to the latest official figures, with more than 332,000 additional infections recorded — the first time cases breached 300,000.

The runaway numbers in Europe and North America led Hong Kong on Wednesday to impose a flight ban on eight countries including Australia, Canada, France, Britain and the United States.

The restricted list also included the Philippines, Pakistan, and India, where confirmed infections have nearly tripled in two days.

Financial capital Mumbai recorded more than 15,000 cases on Wednesday — its highest daily count since the start of the pandemic — with several cities imposing curfews and the capital New Delhi telling residents to stay at home this weekend.

“There is no room for complacency,” V.K. Paul, a doctor working with the government on its coronavirus response, told a press conference on Wednesday.

“Don’t take it for granted… systems will be overwhelmed, your house will be overwhelmed.”

Source: Modern Ghana

Fashion: Haillie Sumney causes stir online

All the times’ Actress Haillie Summney nailed the perfect look on the ‘gram in 2021.

Here is Actress, Haillie Sumney slaying all through the year 2021.

Beautiful, eloquent, and sassy are just a few words to describe her whenever she takes on our screens looking all fly.

The high fashion sense of Ghanaian Actress cannot be questioned. She is a true epitome of a classy African woman as she manages to look stylish on every single post on her social Media Pages.

Haillie Sumney, “A Way Back Home” Netflix movie Actress making headlines on social media.

When it comes to combining luxury items with Ghanaian brands, Actress Haillie Sumney is an expert.

Difficult to pull off modest fashion for others but not for the Nexflix SuperStar. Scroll through for our all-time favorite look from the fashionista.

Source: Ghana Web

Epixode blasts colleagues and calls for internal support

Accra,- Reigning Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year, Epixode, has descended on Ghanaian artistes calling for support from their Nigerian colleagues, saying “some Ghanaian artistes do not support each other, therefore there is no need complaining about lack of support from Nigerian artistes”.

There have been discussions on various social media platforms as to how supportive Ghanaian artistes have been to their Nigerian counterparts but the same cannot be said about Nigerian artistes supporting Ghanaians.

According to the “Faya” hitmaker, the rule should be simple, “if Nigerians don’t open their music space for Ghanaian artistes, we should also shut our music space.”

Epixode in an interview with GNA Entertainment opined that Ghanaians have to love what we do and support each other, something he believes would help thrive our music in the international music markets.

“For me, it is not even a problem about Nigerians supporting our music. We can all witness the fact that Nigeria has built a strong music industry to dominate on the continent and even around the world. And it is not only in music but other creative arts sectors like film, comedy, among others.

“So if they are not opening their music space for us, then we might as well shut our music space. If they don’t book us for shows, we might as well not book them and we don’t need Nigerians to be the best at what we do.

“A typical example is with the East African music market who always support their own with the likes of Diamond Platnumz having massive numbers on various streaming platforms even better than top Nigerian artistes.

“The most important issue is how Ghanaian artistes support themselves because we don’t even support ourselves to the level where we need to complain about Nigerian support,” Epixode asserted.

Epixode urged his fellow Ghanaian artistes to evolve and align themselves with the new ways of running the music business and not stick to the old ways because of the rapid change in the global music market.

Source: Ghana News Agency