Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing more accusations that his office held “drinking parties” while the rest of the country couldn’t mingle because of strict social distancing rules.
The latest, reported by The Telegraph on Thursday evening, said two separate departure parties were held on the evening of April 16 last year.
Johnson was forced to apologize after attending an event on Wednesday. gathered in his office During the lockdown in May 2020, but he insisted it was a work event.
Police said they would not investigate unless an internal investigation uncovered evidence of a potential criminal offense.
A summary of other recent COVID-19 developments:
- U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration would procure 500 million faster COVID-19 tests to better deal with the spread of the Omicron variant.
- French teachers strike over government’s ‘chaotic’ virus tactics against schools.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering whether to extend the global public health emergency over the coronavirus it declared nearly two years ago.
Here are the latest updates:
Australia’s NSW reports record number of deaths, hospital admissions to peak next week
Australia’s New South Wales state reported a record number of COVID-19 deaths for the third day in a row.
The state reported 29 of the 56 deaths announced in Australia on Friday.
The surge in Omicron cases has put pressure on hospitals, but health officials said they expected admissions to peak next week.
Susan Pearce, the state’s deputy health secretary, told the media that the number of hospitalized patients is better than the best-case scenario for official modeling and plateaus, “but in our hospitals and in patients with Covid-19, plateaus are clearly still in Relatively high levels, in our (intensive care).”
More party revelations from UK PM Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing new charges over his office gatherings while citizens have been told not to gather for social events because of COVID-19.
The right-wing Daily Telegraph said the most recent rally took place on April 16 last year – namely Prince Philip’s funeral – Notwithstanding regulations limiting the size of gatherings indoors and out.
The paper’s political correspondent, Tony Deaver, tweeted the story, saying “two rave parties were held on the 10th before the Queen mourned Prince Philip alone. Staff drank and danced occasionally until the early hours of the morning.”
Johnson is already under pressure, with some in his party calling for his resignation after he admitted on Wednesday that he attended a staff reception during the May 2020 lockdown. He told parliament he believed it was a work event.
Boris Johnson must leave now. He broke the rules and presided over a culture of arrogance, one rule for the Conservatives and another rule for the rest of us.
The onus is on Conservative MPs to remove him. It’s their integrity – if they refuse to act, they won’t be forgiven. https://t.co/JsPrHGiVFF
— Ian Blackford (@Ianblackford_MP) January 13, 2022
Dozens of people in the basement with DJs, dancing and a suitcase full of booze? I still can’t imagine how anyone – anyone – thinks this is all ok. Especially when the rest of the country is doing their best to follow the rules, often at a huge personal cost. https://t.co/GvhFE32utY
– Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonPC) January 13, 2022
Djokovic’s approach ticks as clock ticks for Australia visa decision
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has been practicing in Melbourne this morning as the Australian government prepares to announce a decision on his visa status.
When he arrived in the country before the Australian Open last week, immigration officials cancelled his visa, citing insufficient evidence to warrant a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination.
The decision was overturned by the court.
The top male tennis player is awaiting a decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on his visa.
WHO approves new COVID-19 treatment
A WHO expert panel has added two drugs to its guidelines for recommended treatment of COVID-19.
The drug baricitinib, also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is “strongly recommended” in combination with corticosteroids for severe or critically ill COVID-19 patients. Sotrovimab, an experimental monoclonal antibody therapy, has been given “conditional advice” for patients with non-severe COVID-19 who are at highest risk for hospitalization.
You can read more about the story here.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Kate Mayberry from Kuala Lumpur.
You can read all updates from January 13th here.