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Due to growing concern over novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Delhi government has banned all sporting activities and events, including Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.

“We appeal to people to fight this together. Right now, social distancing is the best solution. We have asked all District Magistrates and Sub-District Magistrates to follow all orders from the Health Department,” said Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while addressing the media.

The ban is specific to sports events that will see gatherings of 200 people or more.

The Delhi government has taken the step as the number of people affected by coronavirus in the country rose to 81, Kerala had the most cases — 17.

On 12 March, the Delhi government announced that all schools, colleges and cinema halls in the national capital will remain shut till March 31.

Several states, including Kerala, have also shut educational institutions and crowded places like cinema halls.

No foreign player can take part in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) till April 15 due to visa restrictions imposed by the government to contain the novel coronavirus threat, news agency PTI quoted a BCCI source.

Whether India will go ahead with hosting the IPL this year will be decided on March 14 at the event’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai.

Coronavirus outbreak has also affected other sporting events in the country with the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) deciding to put on hold all national and state championships till April 15.

The global death toll due to the coronavirus virus has surpassed 4,000 people with more than 100,000 people infected.

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