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Australia news live update: no decision on Novak Djokovic visa, PM says; more than 145,000 Covid cases and 53 deaths recorded nationally

Scott Morrison announces widespread easing of close contact isolation rules; no decision on Novak Djokovic visa status after Australian Open draw delayed; NSW records 92,264 Covid cases and 22 deaths; Victoria reports 37,169 cases and 25 deaths; Queensland records 14,914 cases, six deaths; ACT reports 1,020 cases, NT 550; more than 3,800 Covid hospitalisations. Follow all the day’s news

Anthony Albanese is laying the blame of Australia’s Covid predicament squarely at Scott Morrison’s feet:

How is it we have got to this point? The rapid antigen tests were approved last September.

The national plan made it clear that once we opened up there would be an increased number of infections and we needed to make sure we planned for it. We needed Scott Morrison to do his job.

Working people have been saying that they needed access to testing, for example, for months after months. The Transport Workers’ Union wrote to the government last September about supply chains and the disruptions that could occur if they didn’t get access to rapid antigen tests and now we know this government only ordered en masse rapid antigen tests this week. It’s extraordinary their complacency.

We have had a grand slam of failures from this government, whether it’s tracing, testing, and quarantine. On each occasion they wait until … a problem becomes a crisis before Scott Morrison acts.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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