India suspends Premier League as total COVID-19 cases pass the 20 million mark
India has hit another grim milestone after its cumulative COVID-19 cases surged past the 20 million mark.
According to the country’s Health Ministry, India has added 357,229 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload to about 20.3 million. This as India’s fatalities from COVID-19 rose by 3,449 to hit 222,408.
The South Asian nation has now reported more than 300,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for 13 consecutive days, as the epidemic continues to ravage the country.
With COVID-19 infections and deaths still surging in India, authorities have indefinitely suspended the 2021 Indian Premier League.
The Indian Premier League was suspended indefinitely after players or staff at three clubs tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect,” an IPL statement said.
The regular season had been scheduled to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30.
“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind,” read part of the statement.
“These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Monday press briefing that the WHO is now providing critical equipment to India, including oxygen concentrators, lab facilities and mobile field hospitals.
The WHO boss noted that the world has recorded more new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks than all what was recorded during the first six months of the outbreak, with more than half of the new cases being reported in India and Brazil.