Kolkata’s legendary Eden Gardens cricket stadium is to be used as a quarantine centre for Indian police who have the coronavirus, officials said 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.
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“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.
Read more: Coronavirus caseload leaves India blushing
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.
History of Eden Gardens cricket stadium
Eden Gardens cricket stadium is India’s most popular and largest cricket stadium. The first cricket match was organized at this stadium between India and England as a Test match from 5th to 8th January, 1934.
The stadium was established in 1864. The stadium gets its name from the Eden Gardens, one of the oldest parks in Kolkata, adjacent to the stadium, designed in 1841 and named after the Eden sisters of Lord Auckland, the then Governor-General of India. Initially, it was named ‘Auckland Circus Gardens’ but later changed to ‘Eden Gardens’ by its makers inspired by Garden of Eden in the Bible.
The Stadium is the headquarters of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Apart from International matches, the stadium hosts matches for domestic Indian cricket and is the home venue for Kolkata Knight Riders. The stadium’s Club House is named after former Chief Minister of West Bengal Dr. B. C. Roy.
Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk