Famed India cricket stadium Eden Gardens to be used as quarantine centre for police
Cricketers play under floodlights during the first day of the second Test match between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata. File / AFP
Kolkata’s legendary Eden Gardens cricket stadium is to be used as a quarantine centre for Indian police who have the coronavirus, officials said on Saturday.
With the city’s hospitals under growing pressure, hundreds of beds are to be set up in the 80,000 capacity stadium that was used for the 1987 World Cup final.
Nearly 550 Kolkata police have tested positive for the coronavirus and two have died.
“It is our duty to help and support the administration in this hour of crisis. The quarantine facility will be used for police personnel who are COVID-19 warriors,” said cricket Association of Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya.
The beds will be put in galleries around the seating and not on the pitch that was last used by India for a day-night Test against Bangladesh last November.
“Such areas would be thoroughly segregated as a safety measure,” added Dalmiya.
The stadium is also used by the Kolkata Knight Riders Indian Premier League side but this year’s tournament has been repeatedly postponed because of the pandemic.
India’s nationwide coronavirus toll rose Saturday to 820,916 cases with 22,193 deaths.