After three months stuck in Germany, Viswanathan Anand has returned to India. Anand boarded an Air India flight (AI-120) from Frankfurt on the night of May 29 and reached Bengaluru via Delhi. The five-time world champion will self isolate for 14 days as per the directives laid down by the Karnataka government.
"He will complete quarantine procedures and come to Chennai as per protocol," the chess Grand Master’s wife, Aruna Anand said.
Flights from Germany are only slated to land in Delhi and Bengaluru.
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Anand was in Bad Soden, a small town near Frankfurt when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Europe and international travel was shut down. He had gone to Germany to compete in the Bundesliga chess tournament.
Ever since, Anand was in contact with the Indian embassies regarding his return home but lack of flight operations extended his trip more than he had anticipated. India has been running rescue operations over the past few weeks for citizens stranded in different countries.The rescue operations have been taking place in a phased manner.
With air travel restricted and other lockdown guidelines enforced, Anand chose to isolate and stay back in Germany considering it the wiser option than putting his family’s health in jeopardy.
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“Before returning to India, I decided to voluntarily isolate myself for some days, as a precaution and to be socially distant, in my apartment near Frankfurt. But by then the travel restrictions [by the Indian government] were in place, so it made sense to follow them rather than put yourself as well as your family at risk,” Vishwanathan Anand told Hindustan Times.
While in lockdown, Anand turned to the Internet to practice as well as help raise funds for Covid-19 relief. He also took part in the Chess for Charity event organised by stand-up comics in India. Not just that, he was in top form at the Nations Cup (Online), organised by FIDE (World Chess Federation).
In the three months that he was there, Anand said he focused on doing yoga and stretching, pairing them with small walks around the block to get fresh air. The only other time he stepped out of his apartment was when he had to go grocery shopping.
Germany had reported over 1,83,000 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and was one of the worst affected countries in Europe.
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