Amid the Coronavirus outbreak in India, Sports and Youth Affairs minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday urged athletes to maintain their fitness and not get "disheartened". This statement comes after several international and domestic sports events were postponed owing to the outbreak.
According to the latest reports, 53 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll to over 3,000. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan (the epicentre of the outbreak), other countries including Iran, Italy, Japan and the Philippines have also reported deaths related to novel coronavirus.
Taking to Twitter, Rijiju posted a video of him exercising and urged sportspersons to 'keep practicing hard' .
Dear Athletes, many international & domestic sports events are getting postponed due to COVID-19. Don't get disheartened as precautionary steps are necessary for our health. Maintain your #fitness, keep practicing hard, will resume soon as things get normalized #FitIndiaMovement pic.twitter.com/itYKLN6VuO— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 6, 2020
Meanwhile, six Indian shuttlers including HS Pronnoy, Chirag Shetty, and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy pulled out of the All England Open Badminton Championships as a precautionary measure over coronavirus outbreak. Also, the Archery Association of India (AAI) on Thursday announced that the Indian junior archery team will not participate in the Asia Cup world ranking tournament in Bangkok owing to the coronavirus threat there. The tournament is scheduled to be held in Thailand's capital from March 8 to 15. The Indian team was scheduled to leave for the venue on March 7.
According to reports, around 31 people have been tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus in India. According to the Health Minister, out of these 16 were Italian Nationals. They have been sent to Indo-Tibetan Border Police's (ITBP) quarantine facility in Chhawla. Following this, two more cases have come to light, including an employee of Paytm.
The infected persons also include six family members of the Delhi man who was infected with coronavirus who were also tested positive for the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people globally so far.