The Asian Boxing Championships have been moved from India to the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 crisis in the country ©Getty Images

The growing coronavirus crisis in India has forced the relocation of the Asian Boxing Championships to the United Arab Emirates.

The tournament was due to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi from May 21 to 31.

"In the wake of international travel restrictions to India, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), in consultation with Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC), has decided to conduct the upcoming 2021 edition of the ASBC Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships in Dubai," the BFI said in a statement.

"The event will now be organised by BFI in association with UAE Boxing Federation."

BFI President Ajay Singh admitted it was a difficult decision but one that had to be taken.

"It’s unfortunate that we have to shift the venue out of India," he said.

"We were very keen to host the Championships in Delhi, but we are left with no options.

India's health system is close to collapsing under the weight of new coronavirus cases ©Getty Images
India's health system is close to collapsing under the weight of new coronavirus cases ©Getty Images

"Boxers’ safety is the most important concern for us and hence we had to take this decision.

"We closely monitored the situation and after deliberation with ASBC as well as the Government of India, we decided to conduct the tournament in Dubai."

India is now reporting approximately a million new coronavirus cases every three days, with the daily death toll exceeding 3,293 today, according to data from the Indian Ministry of Health.

There have been a total of 18 million cases in the country with more than 201,000 deaths. 

The outbreak has pushed the country's healthcare system to near breaking point.

With no space left in hospitals, patients are being left to die at home, in ambulances and outside clinics. Even those who are given a bed remain in danger, with hospitals running out of oxygen and asking patients' families to bring their own.

ASBC has informed countries that the Championships, originally due to take place next year but postponed because of the coronavirus crisis, is now due to take place from May 21 to June 1.