‘Convert Kanteerava Stadium as COVID-19 Hospital’

Coronavirus: ‘Convert Kanteerava Indoor Stadium as COVID-19 Hospital’

A Possibility?

The Kanteerava stadium. DH FILE

Spare Victoria Hospital, and convert the Sri Kanteerava indoor stadium as a Covid-19 hospital with necessary alterations. How viable is this request by Citizens for Citizens (C2C), a people’s collective that says that Victoria Hospital should remain a critical care centre for burns, deliveries and other emergencies.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had on Sunday declared that Victoria Hospital would handle Covid-19 cases. "The indoor stadium is a massive, covered hall, which is centrally located. It has open spaces all around, adequate parking and other facilities and scope for expansion too,” contended Rajkumar Dugar from C2C.

He urged the chief minister and health and family welfare minister to consider the request with an open mind and decide appropriately. "The basic needs are suitable beds, partitions, ventilator lines, oxygen lines and basic medical facilities and care along with food." 

This would be a better location instead of putting the existing services at Victoria in jeopardy and existing patients to discomfort, Dugar said. "A separate and isolated facility at the indoor stadium would be much more beneficial to all." 

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres across India have already been ear-marked for this purpose and the Kanteerava stadium, which remains closed for training sporting activities, could be the next sporting facility in the city to accommodate the growing number of Covid-19 patients.

While the athletes and coaches are not using the venue for the foreseeable future, their apprehension cannot be ruled out.

However, one well-respected coach remarked that he is not opposed to the use since it is for the greater good. “They may use the hostel rooms and other facilities in the stadium for help. It's not possibly for us to protest, it is a government facility,” he said.

The country's health is most important. “If the stadiums are going to be used, then Kanteerava can be used. There is no question of apprehension. We have to wait for things to get better,” he elaborated.

But Kanteerava stadium as a Covid-19 hospital could throw up logistical challenges, felt Dr Ambanna Gowda from Fortis Hospital. Logistics will be difficult inside the stadium. Ideally, doctors, nurses and other support staff should be within the campus with separate accommodation, he explained.

Besides, ventilators, oxygen pipes and other critical equipment should be available easily, which Victoria has. “Makeshift set-ups will be very difficult for ICU, ventilators and dialysis units.”

Ideally, the stadium or Palace Grounds should have been used to quarantine those arriving by international flights for 14 days. “Everyone should have been there on rotation. If they had done that, it could have been a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19,” Dr Gowda opined.

(With inputs by Madhu Jawali)

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