Growing concerns about Coronavirus have led to the shifting of the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie from Dongguan to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The tie will be played from 5th-8th February. Reportedly, around 81 people have died from the virus.
The outbreak of the virus, according to authorities, first reported spread from a seafood market in the city of Wuhan. Chinese authorities have put the city that has a population of nine million on quarantine, by shutting it down.
Chinese authorities have also warned that the virus is accelerating quickly. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) released a statement on Sunday regarding the shifting of the venue. “The decision to move the event to a different venue was taken due to increasing travel restrictions in China at the present time and followed consultation with independent security advisors”.
The four countries in Asia/Oceania Group I are India, Taiwan, China, Uzbekistan, South Korea and Indonesia. The top two teams in the round-robin based event will advance to the World Group II Play-offs while the two teams at the bottom of the points table will be relegated to Asia/Oceania Group II.
On paper, the Chinese team is the most favored to advance with the likes of Shuai Zhang, Qiang Wang, Shuai Peng and Saisai Zheng making up the squad. India's Sania Mirza has also been named in the country's squad. Taiwan's Su-Wei Hseih, and the Chan sisters – Latisha and Hao-Ching – have also been named as part of their country's team.