Organisers had to make significant changes to the journey of the Queen's Baton Relay through India because of the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has forced organisers to make significant changes to the Queen’s Baton Relay during its time in India.

The Baton spent time in Delhi, Bengaluru and Odisha, but had originally been scheduled additionally to visit Ahmedabad on Thursday (January 14) but this was cancelled because of concerns about COVID.

This represents the first major alteration to the schedule since the Relay began at Buckingham Palace in October. At each stage, local organisers have taken extra precautions. Bearers have worn masks and in some cases gloves to handle the Baton.

Billiards star Pankaj Advani had been expected to carry the Baton but withdrew after a positive test and stayed in isolation.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basaravaj Bommai also scheduled to greet the Baton in Bengaluru, reported that he had "tested positive with mild symptoms" and followed the Baton’s visit online instead.

Wrestler Ravi Dahiya, a silver medallist in Tokyo, had been the first bearer of the Indian leg in Delhi.

"It feels great to be a part of the Baton Relay," Dahiya said.

"My preparations for the Commonwealth Games are going on in full swing and I am confident of winning a gold in Birmingham," Dahiya said.

Schoolgirl Vinisha Umashankar, from the Tiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu, was amongst those to help the Baton on its journey.

She had been nominated by the University of Birmingham, a sponsor of the Relay, as a "Changemaker" for her environmental campaigns and invention of a solar powered ironing cart.

Even with COVID precautions in place, the Relay was restricted in Bengaluru.

Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot welcomed the Relay with a short ceremony at "Vidhana Soudha," the state government office, before a symbolic run by 2006 Asian Games long jump gold medallist Anju Bobby George, who won world and Commonwealth Games bronze in a glittering career.

The Baton was taken to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium as it had been when the Relay for Delhi 2010 passed through.

It also visited Odisha in the south east of the country. There it was greeted by sprinter Anuradha Biswal, who won 100 metres hurdles bronze at the 2000 Asian Championships and still holds the national record for the event. She was joined by Odisha women’s football coach Shradhanjali Samantray.

Odisha Hockey Promotion Council chairman and three-time Olympian Dilip Tirkey also welcomed the Baton.

"It is a momentous and historic occasion for us. It is a great honour for Odisha to receive the Queen’s Baton and be part of its journey prior to the commencement of the Commonwealth Games 2022," Tirkey said.

The Baton toured Puri Konark where it was taken to the Golden Beach.

Sprinter Dutee Chand, 100m gold medallist at the 2019 Universiade, carried the Baton alongside India women’s hockey captain Sunita Lakra, who was part of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games side which finished fourth.

The Baton travelled much of the journey on an open top police vehicle, decorated for the occasion in Relay colours.

It was also carried around the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar where inline skaters and a band performed as it arrived.

The next destination for the Baton is Singapore on January 17.