The IBSA has published advice to athletes ©IBSA

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has published advice to athletes to help them cope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The IBSA said athletes may find the current situation to be upsetting and unsettling, highlighting how routines, training and competitions are likely to have been disrupted.

The organisation encouraged athletes to keep exercising during the period where practical, suggesting mini circuits indoors to help maintain strength and fitness.

Advice was also given to maintain a healthy diet, despite potentially being restricted to staying indoors during the pandemic.

The governing body further advised athletes to remain in touch with team-mates, friends and colleagues through social media and video calling to ensure they are not isolated.

Encouragement was also given to visualise future competitions to help remain positive and provide an incentive during the period.

The coronavirus pandemic has widely impacted sport, with events having been postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak.

More than 280,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide since the outbreak began and there are now more than 11,5000 recorded deaths resulting from the virus.

Several countries have been locked down or introduced travel restrictions during the pandemic ©Getty Images
Several countries have been locked down or introduced travel restrictions during the pandemic ©Getty Images

Countries have imposed strict travel restrictions and lockdown orders to slow the spread of the virus, which has made it difficult for athletes to train.

The IBSA also repeated advice to athletes which has been promoted by the World Health Organization to lower the risk of the virus spreading.

This included washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, which the IBSA said was even more crucial for visually impaired athletes, who may not be able to avoid touching surfaces.

Maintaining social distancing and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth are considered key to ensuring the virus cannot be transferred.

Covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze has also been advised, along with staying at home should you become unwell.

The IBSA is among several sporting organisations to promote the WHO advice to help combat coronavirus.