In the pre-COVID-19 days, thousands of Indians would crowd stadiums all over the country to enjoy sporting events, in recent times, however, stadiums are being used for a completely different purpose.
As a bid to prepare for mass quarantine in the run to contain the pandemic, stadiums all over are being converted into isolation wards.
This strategy of converting stadiums into isolation centres was undertaken in China, followed by Australia and Brazil.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Board of Control for Cricket declared on March 22, that they would be willing to turn all cricket and sports stadiums across the country into quarantine facilities.
The Assam government is constructing a coronavirus isolation centre at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, also known as Sarusajai Stadium, in Guwahati.
The stadium is being converted into makeshift hospitals with a capacity of at least 1000 people, to treat patients suffering from the infection. According to The Indian Express report, the Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the site on Thursday and took stock of the work progress.
Other measures include reserving the Sonapur Civil Hospital in Guwahati, and Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital to exclusively treat coronavirus-affected patients.
The OPD in Sonapur Civil Hospital will also remain closed until the situation improves.
Apart from this, an additional 30 intensive care units (ICUs) will be added at the GMCH and around 10 ICUs at the MMCH. The Deputy Commissioner of all districts has been directed to identify the hostels of educational institutes and hotels for isolation of mild patients.
The state has so far reported no coronavirus related cases.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that Howrah's multi-purpose indoor Dumurjala Stadium would be converted into a 150-bed quarantine centre to combat the rising cases of COVID-19 patients.
"The Dumurjola stadium is newly built but no sporting activity is taking place there yet," she said. "Let them set up more beds there and we will later return it like new," she added.
Reportedly, the Gachibowli stadium in Telangana has been chosen to be one of the quarantine centres for passengers coming into India from foreign countries after March 15, taking advantage of the separate entrances and exits of these stadiums to completely isolate patients.
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