Ukrainians cancel visit to Sri Lanka over PCR concerns – NewsIn.Asia


Colombo, January 22 (Daily Mirror) – Over 200 Ukrainian tourists who were expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on a charter flight on January 19 under the Government’s pilot project, backed out of visiting the country while a further 100 tourists who were expected to arrive today, have cancelled their plans. 

They have cancelled their plans following Sri Lanka’s health protocols which require every tourist to undergo three PCR tests if the stay is more than seven days, the Daily Mirror learns. 

The charter flight which was expected to arrive with at least 214 tourists from Ukraine on January 19, flew into the country empty to take back the returning tourists while today, another flight is expected to arrive, but the number of arrivals have been reduced from an estimated 240 to 100. 

Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who was part of the government’s pilot project told Daily Mirror that following the new health guidelines released for tourists on January 6 many tour operators in Ukraine and Russia had been reluctant to take fresh bookings simply because tourists were reluctant to undergo so many PCR tests during a short span. 

Weeratunga said that in addition to undergoing a PCR test in their respective countries within 96 hours before flying to Sri Lanka, upon arrival here, tourists were required to undergo another PCR test upon their check-in at their hotel, another test on their fifth to seventh day and another test during their 14th day. 

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YouTube is the latest online platform to suspend Donald Trump over violence concerns



Google-owned YouTube has temporarily suspended US President Donald Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after last week’s Capitol riot.

Mr Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last week.

Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement on Tuesday local time.

The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a ‘minimum’ of 7 days,” the statement read.

The video-sharing platform also said it will be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Mr Trump’s channel because of safety concerns.

Facebook last week suspended Mr Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Mr Biden’s election victory.

In announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Mr Trump used the platform to incite violent and was concerned he would continue to do so. 

Twitter went a step further by deleting Mr Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.

The company also deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, without any evidence, that Mr Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of satanist liberals.

Mr Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch. 

The US president’s YouTube account has amassed 2.77 million subscribers. 

The home page of the Trump channel featured a month-old video of Mr Trump casting doubt on the voting process in November’s presidential election, and had logged some 5.8 million views.

On Tuesday, an activist group called on YouTube to join other platforms in dumping Mr Trump’s accounts, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.

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Chinese COVID-19 vaccine far less effective than initially claimed in Brazil, sparking concerns


A leading Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech was just 50.38% effective in late-stage trials in Brazil, significantly lower than earlier results showed, according to a statement published by the government of Sao Paulo Tuesday.

While the number exceeds the threshold required for regulatory approval, it falls far below the 78% previously announced, raising questions as to the veracity of the data and fueling skepticism over the apparent lack of transparency regarding Chinese vaccines.

Analysts said the efficacy rate of Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine in Brazil — the lowest among its global competitors — could affect international confidence in Chinese-made vaccines and hamper Beijing’s effort to repair its image from its early mishandling of the initial outbreak by providing COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

“The Butantan Institute and the Government of Sao Paulo report that the coronavirus vaccine achieved a 50.38% overall efficacy rate in the clinical study conducted in Brazil, in addition to (an efficacy rate of) 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. All rates are higher than the 50% level required by the WHO (World Health Organization),” the statement released Tuesday said.

The razor-thin margin for regulatory approval is likely to lead to concern among scientists, given that last week the Butantan institute released partial “clinical efficacy” results celebrating 78% to 100% efficacy in preventing infections.

The state body financed the phase 3 trials of the vaccine, which involved 13,000 health workers across eight Brazilian states.

“Regarding the overall efficacy of the analysis, we met the requirements of the World Health Organization with 50.38%,” Ricardo Palacios, medical director for clinical research at the Butantan biomedical center in Sao Paulo said Tuesday during a news conference.

However, on Tuesday, high-ranking members of the Brazilian Health Ministry told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that “the effectiveness is borderline,” and that because “It is at the limit. We have to wait for ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency) to evaluate.”

A representative of Sinovac said the company is discussing the result but declined to give further comment. The final efficacy rate of the vaccine will be determined by China’s drug regulator, the National Medical Production Administration, according to the representative.

POTENTIAL STUMBLING BLOCK

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the U.S. based Council on Foreign Relations, described the 50.38% efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine as a “disappointing” result that had caught him by surprise.

The results suggest Coronavac is less effective than alternative vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have an efficacy rate of about 95%.

Russia says its Sputnik V vaccine is 91% effective, while the U.K.’s vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, has an average efficacy of 70%.

The Sinovac vaccine is also less effective than its domestic Chinese competitor, developed by the state-owned Sinopharm, which it says is 79.34% effective.

Despite the worse than anticipated results, Huang said the Sinovac vaccine would still be “usable” by helping to relieve pressures on healthcare systems while reducing potential deaths, given its higher efficacy for moderate and severe cases that would require medical treatment.

However, its low overall efficacy could hinder Sinovac’s ability to expand its market share globally, Huang said.

Sinovac has signed deals to provide 46 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Brazil, 50 million doses to Turkey and 7.5 million doses to Hong Kong. It’ll also supply 40 million doses of vaccine bulk — the vaccine concentrate before it is divided into vials — to Indonesia for local production.

“Since many countries are planning to order, or have already ordered Sinovac’s vaccines, it might undermine people’s willingness to take them, because people may question the usefulness of the vaccines,” Huang said. “It could be a potential stumbling block.”

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY

A lack of transparency has been a major concern clouding Chinese-made vaccines, which Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to make “a global public good.”

Both Sinovac and Sinopharm have faced questions regarding the release of data. When announcing its efficacy results, state-owned Sinopharm did not provide details on its clinical trial data. A Sinopharm executive said detailed data would be released later and published in scientific journals, without giving a timeline.

There is also the issue of discrepancy in results from clinical trials conducted in different places.

Having largely eliminated the coronavirus inside its borders earlier last year, Chinese drugmakers had to look abroad for places to test the efficacy of their vaccines. But the results reported so far are far from consistent.

Sinopharm’s efficacy rate of 79%, for example, is lower than the 86% announced by the United Arab Emirates for the same vaccine in December.

Sinovac’s vaccine has had wildly different results from three countries: Indonesian drug regulators say interim data from Phase 3 trials showed it is 65.3% effective and gave it the country’s first emergency use approval; Turkey says it is 91.25% effective; And in Brazil, the two significantly different efficacy rates announced a week apart have further sparked questions.

Last week, Brazil’s health regulator agency ANVISA told the Butantan Institute that in order to approve the emergency use of a vaccine, the global efficacy rate had to be made publicly available — information the Institute had not received at the time from Sinovac, according to CNN Brasil sources.

ANVISA will meet on Sunday to decide on two requests for emergency use of both the Coronavac vaccine and the Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine.

DOMESTIC EXPECTATIONS

The news could potentially hinder China’s own coronavirus vaccination drive too, Huang warned.

China has inoculated tens of thousands of people with Sinovac’s vaccine since July under a government-approved emergency use program, which includes at least three Chinese vaccine candidates.

In total, it has administered 4.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine under emergency use, and is planning to vaccinate 50 million people ahead of February’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

Chinese public health experts have repeatedly told the public they are confident that Chinese-made vaccines are at least as good as, if not better, than foreign alternatives, Huang said.

“If people learn about this, they might start to question the safety and efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine, or even other Chinese-made vaccines,” Huang said. “I think the government will need to do some convincing work, on either those who have already taken the shots, or are about to do so.”

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NSW records one local COVID-19 case, AstraZeneca vaccine concerns raised, NSW-Victoria border tensions rise, 2021 Australian Open set to begin


“My temperature rose to 38 degrees celsius and I battled with it for three days, but it became clear I could not do that independently,” Shelomentseva said.

Doctors immediately performed a cesarean section to deliver baby girl Liza, but still feared for the recovery of the mother who went on to spend almost two months on a ventilator to help her breathe.

“It was a very serious case,” said Galina Shkandriy, head of the Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Department at the hospital where Shelomentseva was treated. “The entire ward is to thank for the patient recovering from 100 per cent lung damage,” the RIA news agency cited her as saying.

“When we consulted doctors from around the city, they all said ‘you probably won’t be able to do anything because with those indicators, people don’t survive’.

“Oksana spent 51 days in intensive care in a most serious condition. We were able to save her from the most severe lung damage and multiple organ failure.”

Shelomentseva was discharged on Monday and returned home to her husband and three children, including baby Liza.

At 3,448,203, Russia has the world’s fourth-largest tally of coronavirus cases after the United States, India and Brazil, and has reported 62,804 deaths from the virus.

Pregnant women are considered at higher risk of severe effects of COVID-19 compared to other women of the same age, and researchers have found a link between coronavirus and pre-term births.

with Reuters

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AstraZeneca COVID vaccine concerns raised, NSW-Victoria border tensions rise, 2021 Australian Open set to begin in Melbourne


“I would urge people looking at this to look at the full information not just pick one figure from that study,” he said, referring to an interim report from phase three clinical trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Professor Kelly said three different countries with slightly different protocols had been involved in the phase three AstraZeneca trial – the results of which were published in early December and form the basis of the concerns expressed by the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology today.

“The pooled result was 70 per cent [effectiveness]. In one group, it was 90 per cent. And 62 per cent was the larger group,” he said. The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology is most concerned about the 62 per cent figure.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Professor Kelly said more information was still on its way to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is ultimately responsible for approving the vaccine.

“We’ll have much more information than a five- or six-page article published in [the medical journal] The Lancet when the TGA makes its decision. They’ll have tens of thousands of pages, probably, of information,” he said.

“Once they make that decision we’ll be guided by it. At minimum, [it is an] effective vaccine. It definitely exceeds the World Health Organisation’s goal of over 50 per cent effectiveness.”

Professor Kelly said the government would accelerate its public information campaign once vaccines were approved and available, and stopped short of commenting on whether some members of Parliament were undermining the government’s own health advice on social media.

Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly has become a dangerous source of dubious advice at a time when the government wants full support for a mammoth effort to vaccinate almost everyone.

“That’s their choice to do these in a democratic country that allows free speech,” he said.

“I would say this though – all along, I’ve labelled this as the social media pandemic. People should really be careful about who they’re listening to and who they’re looking [to] for advice. I would really respectfully say the Australian government and the state and territory governments are the places to go to first.”

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The aspect of Fremantle’s game that Jakovich has “grave concerns” over


Eagles legend Glen Jakovich has run his eye over Fremantle, believing they’re a team with a formidable backline, but their offensive struggles will keep them out of the top eight in 2021.

The Dockers impressed in their first season under coach Justin Longmuir, finishing 12th with seven wins and a percentage of 93.7.

Jakovich hopes to see what they’re capable of with their full arsenal of defenders fit and healthy.

“Last year defensively they were ranked fifth in the competition. In the back end of the season, they were ranked number two so they were really, really good defensively,” he told Sportsday WA.

“If they can get Joel Hamling back, that’s an added bonus. He’s an A-grader and a premiership player. Luke Ryan is an All-Australian, Nathan Wilson, if he can get a good run with his body, he’s an A-grader. Explosive and gets them going.

“I really like Fremantle’s backline. Ethan Hughes, Griffin Logue, throw in Alex Pearce if he can hold his body together he’ll be very good.

“Their mids are fantastic. Caleb Serong was the NAB Rising Star.

“Look out for Hayden Young. I had the privilege of working with him in the National Academy program. He is an elite kick, sees the angles well.

“Darcy Tucker, James Aish will be better in his second year, Stephen Hill needs to stay on the park.”

Jakovich believes Fremantle should ride its young midfield and begin to transition Nathan Fyfe and Michael Walters forward more regularly.

“The mids are really good, the forwards, I’ve got grave concerns,” he said.

“Last year (their) attack (was ranked) 16th in the competition and they averaged 50 points per game.

“In the top four, Port Adelaide (averaged) 69 (points per game), Brisbane 69, Richmond 66 points and Geelong 72 points per game.

“You’ve got to score. Matt Taberner, who is going to stand up with him?

“You’ve got Michael Walters. Where does he play next year? For me, I’d like to see him and Nat Fyfe play high half-forward and in the midfield.

“They’re not in their younger years anymore and I think Fremantle need them, as part of climbing up the ladder, playing more deep forward and preserving their bodies because they have played a lot of footy and have been banged up over a long period of time.

“(Fremantle) needs to add something more to their forward line. That’s their Achilles heel.

“The two things that Fremantle needs to really improve on is their impact on the scoreboard … and the other thing is they need to improve on their kicking game.

“If they really improve on that and become the envy of the competition like Hawthorn were a few years ago then opposition clubs will take not that they’re on the rise.

“I’ve got them finishing ninth or 10th, in that area. If they can improve, they should be on the cusp of finals footy. I can’t put them in the finals or the top eight equation just yet, the reason being their forward doesn’t look that scary to me at the minute and that’s where they’ve got to really boost up their stocks.”





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Concussion Rules Might Be A Subject To Misuse According To Stuart Clark

The third test’s substitute rule seems to have been benefitting India as the tourists Rishabh Pant’s explosive batting and Wriddhiman Saha’s superior wicket-keeping, letting them get the best of both worlds.

While batting in the first innings, Pant was hit on the elbow. Shortly, when India fielded was replaced by sub keeper, Saha, performed flawlessly and took four catches.

Going way back, substitute fielders were not able to keep wicket, however, the rule was changed in 2017. This means Saha could take the gloves.

Then, in India’s second innings, Pant was fit enough to bat and led a stirring fightback from India once again. This lets the team remain in the streak as unbeaten on 73 at the lunch break.

Even some are raising concerns that India was taking advantage of the rule.

That said, ABC Sports commentator Stuart Clark cited that India was within their rights in using both players.

“He received an external blow. These are always very difficult for a match referee to objectively police. If a doctor says he’s not fit to field, [ICC match referee] David Boon, fine batsman, but not a doctor. He has to go with the advice of the doctors. The rule allows him to not field. He sat off, recuperated, got his arm better and now he’s giving us a fine display with the bat.” He said.

On the other hand, Clark pointed out he was more troubled about the concussion substitute rule being misused. It was since 2019, the ICC has allowed concussed players to be replaced by a like-for-like substitute, who can bat, field and bowl. Although this rule has been completely utilized in many games, Clark isn’t a fan of the rule.

According to him “If you’re concussed you need to go off. I think it’s ludicrous that it’s different if you have a hamstring tear. I agree that if you’ve got any signs of concussion, you need to be removed. And you need to be protected from yourself. But if the doctor deems you have a concussion, you are removed from the field. “

He asserted that the player shouldn’t be given a free substitute, saying that if the doctor makes a decision and the player has to come off the field, that’s it. Thus, the change of batting techniques and learning to face short bowling is deemed supplementary.

“This whole idea of subs — the game is not built on subs, let’s not have it.” He added.

Despite that, Clark also pondered about a sliding doors moment in Australian cricket; it was when Marnus Labuschagne was introduced as a concussion sub for Steve Smith in the 2019 Ashes.

He laughingly said, ” if it wasn’t for the concussion rule we would have never found Marnus Labuschagne.”

(Image source: ABC News)

Coronavirus NSW: Sydney Cumberland mayor Steve Christou refuses to cancel Australia Day events despite COVID-19 concerns


Councils are using COVID as a “cheap” excuse to ditch Australia Day celebrations, one mayor claims, saying cancel culture is the true reason.

Councils are using the coronavirus pandemic as a “cheap” excuse to cancel Australia Day celebrations this year, one Sydney mayor claims, blaming ‘cancel culture’ instead.

A string of festivities have been canned, including the Ferrython, Harbour Parade, Tug and Yacht Ballet and Tall Ships Race.

Local councils say COVID-19 is behind the decision, but Cumberland City mayor Steve Christou has labelled that a “lazy” and “unAustralian” excuse.

Mr Christou has vowed to push ahead with celebrations in his area, including a citizenship ceremony in Granville followed by an Australia Day party at Holroyd Gardens.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus updates

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Mr Christou said that cancelling Australia Day events was “completely unacceptable and quite frankly unAustralian”.

“Any cancellation of an Australia Day event is unAustralian and a cheap and lazy excuse to not conduct a COVID-safe event,” Mr Christou told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It‘s very sad that the bed-wetters and cancel-culture philosophers are dictating our agendas before a health directive has been issued,” he added. “I feel this is taking the easy way out.”

He said events could easily go ahead with basic safety procedures like QR codes, masks, social distancing, and sanitisation stations.

This is despite Mr Christou’s council including the suburb of Berala, which is at the centre of the western Sydney COVID-19 outbreak.

A BWS staff member worked for days while unknowingly infected with coronavirus.

Other councillors aren’t impressed and said said the mayor had “gone off on his own tangent”.

Cumberland City Labor councillor George Campbell told The Sydney Morning Herald: “The mayor has typically gone off on his own tangent and his intemperate views have not been endorsed by council.”

The Northern Beaches Council also has no plans to let COVID-19 get in the way of Australia Day celebrations — despite the recent outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

It will hold a food truck party at Forestville on January 23, a market at Dee Why on January 24, an open-air cinema at Brookvale Oval on January 25, and pool parties at Warringah and Manly on January 26.

But most Sydney councils are cancelling events to keep communities safe.

Cumberland’s neighbouring local council area, Canterbury-Bankstown, have canned pool parties and concerts on Australia Day, deeming them “non-essential”.

Another neighbour, Parramatta Council, has postponed its Summer Nights Live concerts on January 25 and 26 indefinitely, and has moved it citizenship ceremonies online.

Liverpool, North Sydney, Inner West, and the Hills Councils in NSW have all cancelled events.

The Inner West Council decided not to go ahead with Australia Day Celebrations in November, before the latest spat of COVID-19 outbreaks. Its mayor Darcy Byrne said Australia Day was to be commemorated not celebrated.

January 26 is considered as “Invasion Day” by some and believe celebrations should not be held in respect of Indigenous people.

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AFLNT postpones match on Tiwi Islands following land council’s coronavirus concerns


The chairman of the Tiwi Land Council wants his community to consider stronger coronavirus restrictions on visitors to protect vulnerable Indigenous communities.

Gibson Farmer Illortaminni’s calls follow a hotel quarantine worker in Brisbane testing positive for the more contagious UK variant of the coronavirus, and new clusters regularly emerging interstate.

“It’s been all over the world, like America, UK, Indonesia and right down to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane,” Mr Farmer Illortaminni said.

“Our people are a bit worried, especially the elderly.”

The NT Government yesterday declared Greater Brisbane a coronavirus hotspot, meaning anyone from the area arriving in the Territory must undergo mandatory quarantine.

People who arrived before Friday morning do not have to quarantine, but many have been told to get COVID-19 tests and are in self-isolation until those results are returned.

The NT Government is also asking anyone who has come from Brisbane since January 2 to self-isolate and get tested, but this is not compulsory.

Mr Farmer Illortaminni says extra precautions should be introduced to protect communities on the Tiwi Islands.(ABC News: Jane Bardon)

Mr Farmer Illortaminni said he would like to see tourists and essential workers return negative COVID-19 tests before entering the remote Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin.

“All the essential workers, they can come over, but we have got to take precautionary measures,” he said.

“We do not want people wandering around the Tiwi Islands that might have something.

“We need to check out everyone that goes on the [Tiwi] Islands — tourists and even essential service workers, they need to all get checked out.”

It follows the postponement of a Northern Territory Football League match on the Tiwi Islands after the Tiwi Land Council expressed concerns regarding two players had recently returned to the NT from Brisbane.

The match was scheduled to take place at the Tiwi community of Wurrumiyanga north of Darwin at 1:30pm today.

“Waratah self-reported they had two players that returned from Brisbane in that time frame and attended training on Thursday night, and one of those woke up yesterday morning with flu-like symptoms,” AFLNT community football manager Leigh Elder said.

“Thankfully the two players were tested and received negative results but obviously that didn’t arrive on our desk until after 8:00pm last night.”

Three Tiwi Bombers players leap for the ball
Saturday’s scheduled match between the Tiwi Bombers and Waratah will not go ahead due to coronavirus precautions.(Supplied: Tiwi Bombers)

The AFLNT said health officials had cleared the game to go ahead, but the organisation wanted to respect the caution of the Tiwi Land Council.

“Immediately we started working with the Health Department … after communicating with all the clubs and dealing with the Tiwi council, they just raised their concerns for the health and wellbeing of their community,” Mr Elder said.

“At the end of the day, I don’t mind people being cautious with this scenario.

“I think we were all hoping 2021 would be a whole new world but the reality is this problem is here for quite a while.”

Mr Elder said the AFLNT would discuss further options for the match early next week.

In March last year spectators and tourists from Darwin were prevented from travelling to the Tiwi Islands football grand final — a major event on the local cultural calendar.

The event, which coincides with one of the country’s largest Indigenous art fairs, usually draws thousands of visitors from across the country.

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Coronavirus concerns push Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to late 2021, says Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll


The Australian Grand Prix will be postponed to the back end of the Formula 1 season with Bahrain replacing it as the opening race in March, according to Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll.

The move, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine restrictions, has been widely flagged in the media but is yet to be confirmed by Formula 1 or local organisers.

“Melbourne has been — it’s not officially announced but it will be — not cancelled but postponed,” the Canadian billionaire told Reuters.

“We will go there sometime in the fall [northern autumn] and the first race will be [in] Bahrain.”

Formula 1 has been promoting on social media the existing 2021 schedule, which has the season starting with the Melbourne race on March 21.

However, there has been speculation that current restrictions requiring international arrivals in Australia to undergo a two-week hotel quarantine period would make it logistically difficult to get F1 teams and support staff in place in time to allow the race to proceed.

Earlier this week, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said it was working closely with the Victorian Government and Formula 1 on “conditions and arrangements relating to the staging of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in 2021”.

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Last year’s race was cancelled just hours before the first Friday practice session was due to begin, due to coronavirus concerns.

Stroll was speaking ahead of the announcement of a new team title sponsorship with IT company Cognizant.

Crowds had to be turned away from Albert Park because of the last-minute cancellation of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.(ABC News: Patrick Rocca)

Formula 1 teams agreed to the change in a virtual meeting with Formula 1’s new chief executive Stefano Domenicali on Monday.

Sources said the same meeting also agreed for pre-season testing to move from Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya to Bahrain, without setting a date.

Last season’s race calendar had to be re-written due to the global pandemic, with an eventual 17 rounds in Europe and the Middle East and some circuits including Bahrain hosting two Grands Prix.

Stroll, also executive chairman of sportscar maker Aston Martin — which is returning to F1 as a constructor for the first time in 60 years in a rebranding of the Racing Point team — said he expected lingering difficulties.

“I do believe we’re in for a difficult two or three months,” said Stroll.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine. I think the first few races will be slightly challenging.

“But Formula 1 management and the FIA, I really take my hat off to them to deliver 17 races as we did last year in 23 weeks, without really any major hiccups, in a very impressive manner.

“I think the worst is behind us and we’ve learnt through last year how to proceed with this year.”

Stroll and his son Lance, who drives for Aston Martin, both tested positive for the virus last year.

Reuters/ABC

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