Kolkata’s Eden Gardens stadium will be made available as a makeshift COVID-19 quarantine facility for police personnel in the Indian city.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has been asked to open up the stadium’s under galleries for police personnel. It has been decided that under galleries in blocks E, F, G and H will be set up as quarantine facilities, with block J to also be used if needed.
The decision to open up the stadium was made after an emergency meeting between police and CAB officials. A joint inspection was subsequently carried out at Eden Gardens and it was agreed that a number of blocks could be used. The areas will be thoroughly segregated to reduce the risk of spreading 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
CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said: “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.”
With a capacity of 66,000, Eden Gardens is the second largest cricket stadium in India after the recently-opened Sardar Patel Stadium, which seats 110,000 fans. Eden Gardens is used for Test, one-day international and Twenty20 cricket and serves as the home of the Kolkata Knight Riders Indian Premier League team.
Eden Gardens also hosted the country’s first day-night Test in November last year when India faced Bangladesh.
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.
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