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G7 leaders back “safe and secure” Olympics



The leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations say they support the Tokyo Games being held this year.

In a communique issued at the conclusion of the G7 Summit, the leaders stated [we] “reiterate our support for the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19”.

This is exactly the sort of endorsement Japan had been seeking from fellow G7 nations, given the considerable opposition to the games taking place.

Host city Tokyo remains under a state of emergency, as the Asian country battles a fourth wave of infections.

Despite this, the IOC has been determined to proceed with the major sporting event.

“Great encouragement”

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has welcomed the G7 endorsement, telling reporters that he “won very strong support from all the leaders” and “as the Prime Minister of the host country, I was very heartened by such support”.

IOC President Thomas Bach has also welcomed the high level display of public support from G7 nations.

In a meeting with Yoshihide Suga on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, US President Joe Biden backed the Games going ahead.

“President Biden affirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving forward with all public health measures necessary to protect athletes, staff and spectators,” a White House statement said.

“President Biden expressed pride in the US athletes who have trained for the Tokyo Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit.”

The US State Department last week eased an advisory that had warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Japan, due to the COVID-19 surge in the Asian nation.

The latest advice is for US citizens to “reconsider travel”.

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Sydney will hit 70% vaccination today



Sydney’s state Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the state is on track to reach 70% vaccination rate today

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says that 70% of her state will have their first vaccination by the end of today.

This comes as Sydney and New South Wales recorded 1,288 new Covid cases over the past 24 hours.

The premier says:

“Now we’ve hit 70% first dose across the state, we have some greater flexibility of looking at how we can ease the burden of citizens”.

She also flagged that at an 80% full vaccination rate, she wants to open New South Wales up to international travel

Berejiklian said that the state’s “outstanding achievement” has allowed her to ease all one-hour daily exercise restrictions. The restrictions had been put in place across twelve hotspot areas across the state.

“I want to remind citizens that 70 per cent double-dose will be different to what we’re experiencing today,” she said.

“70 per cent double-dose vaccination will allow us to do the things we’ve all been missing. It allows us to interact with one another safely.

“But again I want to stress this, the privileges that will extend at 70 per cent double-dose are only for those who are double vaccinated. So get vaccinated now.”

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Vaccine swap deal announced between Singapore and Australia



Singapore and Australia have agreed to a vaccine swap deal which is set to boost the global rollout of COVID jab’s

Singapore is set to send half a million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Australia as part of a “vaccine swap” between the two countries, delivering a boost to the nation’s vaccination program. 

500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are set to soon expire, will be sent to Australia in the first week of September, and then will be rolled out across Australia from the second week.

Singapore covid bubble

The doses will be distributed equally across each state of Australia

Australia’s Federal government will then deliver half a million Pfizer vaccines back to Singapore in December, when Australia is expected to have ample supplies.

“We need to vaccinate the whole country and we need for those doses to go from one end of the country to the other and for them to be taken up,”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Singapore has reached a vaccine milestone

Singapore has already fully vaccinated well over 80 per cent of its population against COVID-19 — making it one of the most inoculated countries in the world — and the nation has officially begun the process of easing restrictions. 

In a statement, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it might use the 500,000 returned doses from Australia for booster shots later in the year. 

“These returned doses would come in more useful for Singapore then, potentially as booster doses for specific segments of our population that could benefit from such boosting,”

the ministry said.

Mr Morrison has hailed the vaccine swap as an example of international cooperation, stating that Australia and Singapore would continue to work together to make sure vaccines were used before they expire.

The extra doses are expected to further speed up the vaccine rollout in Australia

September is expected to be a major month of vaccinations for Australia with the Moderna jab to officially be rolled out, joining the already available vaccines; Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

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