In Central Asia, Mongolia’s Naadam athletic festival kicked-off at the weekend minus the typical crowds of spectators because of Covid-19 fears.
For the very first time in its 800-year history, just a couple of guests – such as leading politicians – were allowed to attend in person.
In a ranch close to the capital Ulaanbaatar, contestants in the conventional games demonstrated what is called the”three manly abilities” of horsemanship, archery, and wrestling.
Many Mongolians were just able to see the matches on live broadcasts.
But on the town’s near-deserted roads, the air was far from merry as the nation comes to grips with coronavirus.
“We can not observe the horse racing,” said one resident. “The streets are blocked and it is only available to the wealthy men and women. And they’re the people who shut the streets because of this morning. I don’t understand exactly what the Nadaam opening service looked like”
Some inhabitants were resentful that the festival had gone at all.
“The authorities must have spread the money into the general public. We’re struggling. That money could have gone into folks just like people,” complained one person.
Mongolia, which borders Russia and China, has thus far reported just 227 virus cases and no deaths however proceed to impose a rigorous boundary lockdown which has prompted protests by citizens stranded abroad.
The nation has raised some coronavirus-related constraints lately, permitting cinemas and clubs to reopen with restricted hours, even though political protests and many athletic events continue to be prohibited.