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Kiren Rijiju urges athletes to maintain fitness amid coronavirus outbreak
NEW DELHI, INDIA- With several international and domestic sports events being postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Friday urged athletes to maintain their fitness and not get “disheartened”.
Rijiju took to Twitter and posted a video of him exercising. The minister captioned the video as: “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.”
Earlier in the day, 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.
“Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Manu Attri, Sumeeth Reddy, HS Pronnoy, and Sameer Verma have withdrawn from participating in the tournament,” the Badminton Association of India (BAI) sources told ANI.
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.
On Friday one person testing positive for coronavirus in Delhi taking the tally of people infected with the deadly virus in the country to 31.
The novel coronavirus disease was first detected in Wuhan, China’s Hubei province, in late December 2019, and has since spread worldwide claiming over 3200 lives so far globally.