Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who is in Germany for the SC Baden OOO in Bundesliga Chess, has been forced to extend his stay in the country due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Anand, who was supposed to return to India on Monday, will now be able to return to Chennai not before the end of this month.Also Read - Covid-19 Deaths Drop to Lowest Level Globally in Nearly a Year: WHO
Anand, 50, had reached Germany in February and has been in self-isolation for more than a week. Currently, his routine includes speaking with family, catching up with friends over the internet or going out on walks. Also Read - 15-Year-Old Divya Deshmukh Becomes Woman Grand Master
“This is a very unusual experience for me. For the first time in my life and for many others as well, I am forced to self-isolate myself,” Anand told Times of India from his apartment near Frankfurt on Sunday. “One important part of the day is the phone call from home. I have a video chat with my son Akhil and wife Aruna as soon as I get up. We try to get some happiness talking to each other. Also Read - Bhubaneswar Civic Body Issues New Stricter COVID-19 Guidelines; Limits Gathering to 50 People
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Germany on 27 January 2020, when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Bavaria. The majority of the COVID-19 cases in January and early February originated from Webasto headquarters in Bavaria and, seemingly, from there to Northern Italy, where Webasto has offices, consistently to phylogenetic analysis of viral DNA.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Germany will be imposing temporary controls on its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg on Monday to stop the spreading of coronavirus.
“I am sitting with a lot of time on my hand and so are my friends around the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For the first time, we have the possibility to communicate with friends over the internet and it’s nice to do that. Besides that, I go for a nice long walk once or twice a day. If I meet someone on the way, I ensure to keep a few metres of separation at least,” Anand said.
“He [Akhil] posts a couple of doubts in French which he is studying in school. I try to help him because I have learned French. If I don’t know the word then I try to look up. My French is decent enough.”
With his return delayed, Aruna, Anand’s wife, is rightfully worried.
“I feel awful that he is there. But we have to be thankful that his situation is better than many people who are stranded. We miss having him here and keep telling him to eat well, ventilate and of course wash hands. I hope he returns to India by the end of this month,” Aruna said.