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Serbia’s coronavirus crisis team member Zoran Gojkovic told journalists in Belgrade overnight Novak Djokovic’s coronavirus infection certificates were valid, after facing questions over media reports that had shown questionable time stamps and a QR code which purportedly sometimes revealed a positive, sometimes a negative result.

Dr Gojkovic said Djokovic, who was photographed maskless with children in Belgrade after taking a PCR test and later at an interview and photoshoot in Belgrade while knowingly COVID-positive, had not breached any local laws as there was no mechanism to punish him for pandemic breaches due to there no longer being a state of emergency in late December 2021.

“With caution, with the possibility of being sued by Novak Djokovic, because all medical documentation that someone has is his personal property … I can tell you that after the publication of the documentation…, we analysed that document, that document is absolutely valid, it was issued by the competent authority of the state of Serbia, for us the story is clear.

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Novak had a valid document from a state institution in Serbia, that he was coronavirus-positive. That is all”, Dr Gojkovic said to a question from an American journalist.

Asked again about the possibility of varying codes, he said the document was completely valid.

Asked whether it was true it took a long time for the PCR test results to arrive, Dr Gojkovic said: “Ask Novak Djokovic that, not me, that is not a question for me, when he checked the e-mail. I can say that the document is valid and that it was sent after the reading during that day in the late evening. What he did after that, I can’t comment on, that’s a question for him”.

Asked whether he wished Djokovic had been vaccinated and whether he had a message for the Serbian people who had not yet been vaccinated, Dr Gojkovic said: “I have been vaccinated personally, all my closest family members have been vaccinated, the message of the Serbian government is that everyone should be vaccinated, it is a legacy of science, some accept it, some do not.

“We accept all the reasons that someone does not want it. I am sorry that Novak was not vaccinated, but I am also defending his free will, although I do not agree with that. No country in the world has decided that their citizens must be vaccinated at this time. As long as that is not the case, we must respect diversity and freedom of opinion, although I do not agree with that, because, as a doctor, I know how good the vaccination is, but, obviously, we are not all doing as well as we should.

“We are overwhelmed with information, and even more with misinformation. As a doctor, it is difficult for me to distinguish [between information and misinformation], let alone for ordinary people.”



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