Works have begun to set up a makeshift quarantine centre at Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens, barely a few hours after the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) gave its nod to the city police’s proposal to use a part of the cricket stadium as an isolation facility for COVID-affected police personnel.
The space below the five galleries of E, F, G and H blocks are being converted to quarantine facilities and if required, in future, J block too will be utilised, according to Kolkata Police sources. The Kolkata Police plans to set up at least a 500-bed facility in the stadium.
These blocks would be totally segregated from other parts of the stadium, CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said.
The decision to set up the quarantine centre at the country’s oldest and second largest cricket stadium was taken at a joint meeting of the Kolkata Police top brasses and CAB officials on Friday (June 10). In the meeting, the CAB reportedly stated that it will have no problem to turn the part of the stadium into a quarantine centre if the Club House remains unaffected.
Following the meeting, the police and the CAB officials conducted a joint survey of the stadium to select the suitable space for the isolation centre.
Administrative works of the CAB are carried out from the Club House. Even the galleries of B, C, D, K and L blocks will not be used for the quarantine facilities to ensure smooth functioning of the administrative and cricketing works of the CAB.
“It’s our responsibility to help the administration in this hour of crisis. Those who will be housed in this quarantine centre are also COVID-19 warriors,” said Dalmiya.
Groundsmen and other staff have already been shifted to the dormitories and spaces below other blocks.
So far, 544 Kolkata Police personnel have tested positive for coronavirus while two of them died. In adjoining Howrah, 160 police personnel have tested positive so far. A couple of days ago, a sub-inspector of the Howrah police commissionerate, Gautam Patnayak, died due to the infection.
The Eden Gardens stadium was established in 1864. Apart from being the CAB headquarters, the stadium is also the home venue for the Kolkata Knight Riders. In 1987, it became the second ground after Lord’s in London to host a Cricket World Cup final.