Aizawl, February 14, 2020:

Mizoram Aero-Sports Association (MASA) has cancelled the flight tickets of seven Chinese nationals who were scheduled to participate in the ongoing International Paragliding Championship in the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

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President of MASA, C Lalhminghlua informed that the Chinese nationals were among the 58 paragliders registered for the championship. He said that an international airline cancelled tickets issued to the gliders, in the wake of the aviation regulator’s ban on the entry of Chinese nationals and foreigners who have been to China on or after January 15.

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It needs mention here that the central government has also temporarily suspended the e-visa facility for Chinese passports holders.

The International Paragliding Championship had expected at least 58 participants across the world. However, the turnout is much lower than expected – 28 out of the 58. The outbreak of COVID-19 has been cited as one major reason for paragliders for their reluctance to travel for the event.

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Meanwhile, state nodal officer for Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and epidemiologist Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said counters have been set up along international borders to screen people entering the state.

The Paragliding championship is a five-day event, which began on February 12 at Serchhip in central Mizoram. Initially, more than 130 participants were expected to participate in the event and to make the event a successful one, the organizing committee, under the chairmanship of Mizoram’s Sports and Tourism Minister Robert Romawia Royte, had prepared a detailed roadmap.

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