On a day a resident of New Delhi tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of infected people in India to 31 (including 16 Italian tourists), BCCI president Sourav Ganguly gave a green signal to the The Indian Premier League (IPL), saying that ‘IPL is very much on’.
“IPL is very much on. Everywhere, the tournaments are going on. England are already in Sri Lanka. South Africa are here. There are no issues,” Ganguly told reporters on Friday.
The glitzy T20 event, featuring both Indian and international stars, gets underway on March 29 in Mumbai with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on last year’s runner-ups Chennai Super Kings.
“County teams are travelling all over the world. They are travelling to Abu Dhabi, UAE to play. So there is no problem,” he added.
Ganguly, however, asserted that all precautionary measures will be taken so that the players and the spectators don’t get infected with the virus, adding that a medical team is thrashing out the specifics.
“We will take all precautions. I don’t know exactly what are the extra measures. It’s only medical team which will tell us about that. The medical team is already in touch with the hospitals so that everything is available. We will do what the doctors say. They are the professionals.
“All medical issues will be addressed by the medical team. Every tournament will go on,” he added.
The number of people sickened by the rapidly spreading virus was close to 97,000 on Thursday evening, with over 3,300 of these believed to have succumbed to the consequent illness. The pathogen, similar to the Sars virus that spread in 2002-2003, leads to cough, fever and, in serious cases, respiratory distress that can turn fatal.
The virus started spreading in China in late December, but is now recording an exponential spike outside of the country. Iran, South Korea and Italy are among the nations where the outbreak is now most serious.