Coronavirus pandemic: Cinema halls to be shut, IPL matches to take place behind closed doors and India-South Africa ODI matches in empty stadium?


The Indian authorities have taken unprecedented measures to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic after it emerged that this year’s IPL matches will be played behind closed doors. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju told reporters that fans may not be allowed inside the grounds to watch IPL matches.

कोरोना वायरस
फाइल फोटो

Rijiju said that he was not stopping the game but merely ‘telling to ensure that there is no mass gathering.’ “Precautionary step is very important for the health of the country,” Riji9ju was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, news agency PTI reported that the remaining two One Day International matches between India and South Africa may take place in empty stadiums.

Elsewhere, the Indian Super League final between ATK and Chennaiyin FC, scheduled for 14 March, too will be held in an empty stadium in Goa. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that cinema halls in Delhi are to remain shut till March 31 due to the coronavirus threat.”

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) a pandemic. The same day, the Indian health ministry had announced that it was suspending all existing visas except ‘diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, till 15 April 2020.’ The move will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020 at the port of departure.

The health ministry had said, “Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.”