New Delhi: Due to escalating concerns over coronavirus, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has postponed all domestic badminton tournaments that were scheduled to be held in April and May.
BAI made the announcement on Monday with the following statement:
“With the exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, BAI President Himanta Biswa has decided to postpone all the upcoming domestic tournaments starting with Banglore (April18-25) followed by junior and sub-junior in Hyderabad in May,” said BAI.
There has not been any official decision about the India Open yet that was scheduled to be held from May 11 to 16 in New Delhi, but if the Super 500 tournament was to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’re only two more Olympic qualifiers left – the Malaysia and Singapore Open.
Interesting enough, BAI president – Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the health minister for the state of Assam – a state in northeastern India, said in an election campaign in early April that the people of Assam need not wear masks as a protective measure against Covid-19 because the deadly viral disease was no more in the state.
His comment came at a time when India is suffering a second wave of Covid-19. On Monday, India reported more than 100,000 cases for the first time since the pandemic began last year. Nearly 97,000 cases were registered on Tuesday, while on Wednesday, India reported a record 115,736 new coronavirus infections.
On Tuesday, the government of New Delhi – where the India Open will be held, has imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am until April 30. Only essential services or people traveling to and from vaccination centers are allowed on the streets.