Eden Gardens as cops’ quarantine center


India Kolkata The Eden Gardens covid facility Image: Gulf News

With coronavirus hitting India for a six, literally, the iconic stadium Eden Gardens in Kolkata (a State in India) will be made available as a makeshift COVID-19 quarantine facility for Indian police personnel who have tested positive for the deadly virus.

With Kolkata’s hospitals groaning under the rising COVID-19 cases, hundreds of beds are to be set up in the massive stadium that was used for the 1987 World Cup and 2016 T20 World Cup finals.

Nearly 550 Kolkata Police personnel have tested positive for coronavirus and two have died.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has been asked to open up the venue’s under galleries for police personnel. Quarantine facilities will be set up under galleries in blocks E, F, G and H, with block J to also be utilized if needed. The beds will be put up in galleries around the seating and not on the pitch.

An emergency meeting between police and CAB officials led to the decision to open up the stadium. A joint inspection was subsequently carried out at Eden Gardens and a decision was reached that a number of blocks could be used. The areas will be thoroughly segregated to reduce the risk of spreading the deadly COVID-19.

The CAB will be free to use adjacent blocks for conducting its own activities and administrative works. Groundsmen and other stadium staff will be moved to dormitories and other safe spaces in blocks B, C, K and L.

A visit to Eden Gardens was undertaken by Kolkata Police led by Arunmoy Saha. CAB President Avishek Dalmiya and Honorary Secretary Snehasish Ganguly were present during the visit.

Remarked Dalmiya, “It is our duty to help and support the administration in this hour of crisis. The quarantine facility would be used for police personnel who are COVID warriors. The under galleries which would be used at E, F, G, H and J blocks would be properly segregated and secured from the balance areas. The arrangement agreed between Kolkata Police and CAB would ensure that areas used for cricket and administrative activities remain unaffected.”

Eden Gardens – the second largest cricket stadium in India after the recently-opened Sardar Patel Stadium in Gujarat (a State in India) which accommodates 110,000 fans – can sit 66,000 supporters. Eden Gardens is employed for Test, One-Day International and Twenty20 cricket and serves as the residence of the Kolkata Knight Riders Indian Premier League (IPL) team.

Eden Gardens also staged the country’s first day-night Test in November last year when India took on Bangladesh at the crease.

Back in March, Sourav Ganguly, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), offered Eden Gardens’ indoor facility and the players’ dormitory to the West Bengal Government to create a temporary medical facility.

On July 9, Karnataka (a State in India) Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s office announced that Bengaluru’s (city in Karnataka) Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium will be converted into a COVID care center.

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