AGENCIES, Mumbai/New Delhi: The coronavirus crisis hit India hard on Thursday on multiple fronts. The markets slumped to its lowest-ever figures, India virtually shut itself out from the rest of the world by suspending tourist visas till April 15 and BCCI went into a huddle over the high-profile IPL cricket extravaganza due to start on March 29.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has asked all his ministers not to travel abroad as a measure to tackle the coronavirus spread.
The Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indices suffered their biggest single-day selloff ever in absolute terms as the Indian markets entered a bear phase. The investor sentiment — which has been shaky in the past few weeks in the backdrop of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak — took a further beating after the World Health Organisation declared the deadly virus as a pandemic and the United States suspended travel from Europe.
The Nifty 50 crashed as much as 9 per cent or 950 points to 9,508 during the session — its lowest level recorded since June 2017 and the Sensex dropped as much as 8.97 per cent or 3,204 points to 32,493 — its lowest in 23 months.
The domestic markets markets slumped mirroring losses globally as investors around the world anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic will lead the global economy into recession. More than 1,00,000 people have been infected by the deadly coronavirus around the globe, and 73 in India.
In the face of the coronavirus outbreak globally, the BCCI is now discussing the possibility of holding the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 behind closed doors. “We are discussing the possibility of playing IPL behind closed doors,” the official said, adding, “Compensation to teams will be discussed on Saturday.”
Dealing a blow to the tournament, the government has issued a fresh advisory with a ban on all existing foreign visas, except a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in the wake of new positive cases of novel coronavirus in the country. There are a host of foreign playing competing in the IPL.
The sports ministry has asked all national federations, including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry’s advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events keeping in mind the novel coronavirus pandemic, news agency PTI reported.