New Delhi: With the coronavirus outbreak bringing all sports activities to a halt in the country, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday urged the athletes to not lose spirit and keep working hard to stay battle ready for competitions.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 6,000 lives and infected close to 160,000 people worldwide, has led to the cancellation or postponement of all sporting events across the globe.
"Due to coronavirus, sporting events and competitions are postponed temporarily but I appeal all our athletes not to lose the spirit, keep practicing and focus on your training," Rijiju wrote on his twitter handle.
The government last week imposed travel restrictions to control the spread of the virus, while the Sports Ministry also urged all national federations to follow the Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.
Following the directives, the three-match ODI series against South Africa was called off, while the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was due to start on March 29, was suspended till April 15.
The shooting World Cup and Indian Open Golf was postponed, while badminton's India Open was also deferred after Badminton World Federation (BWF) suspended all World Tour and sanctioned events, owing to the outbreak of the deadly disease.