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Coronavirus: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi to become COVID-19 quarantine facility

Last Updated 31 March 2020, 04:08 IST

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital has been handed over to the Delhi government for using it as a quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients. This comes amid a health scare in south Delhi's Nizamuddin after150 people were moved to hospitals as they showed symptoms of the virus infection.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), which manages the 60,000 capacity stadium, was asked by the Delhi administration to hand it over citing the need for the facility for using it for the purpose of quarantine.

"It has been considered necessary to requisite premises/building of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex, Lodhi Road, under the provisions of Section 34 of DM Act-2005 (Disaster Management) for utilizing the same for the purpose of creating quarantine facility to house the persons/people,” District Magistrate (South-East) Harleen Kaur said in her order issued to the SAI on Monday.

The stadium houses a 200-bed hostel and two academies for pole vault and print in the complex while the offices of SAI and Income Tax Department also operate from there. The SAI has already handed over the National Boxing Centre in Haryana's Rohtak and National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Punjab's Patiala for setting quarantine facilities there.

The administration's move to take over the stadium came amid a large number of people who were staying in a mosque complex in Nizamuddin showed symptoms of COVID-19.

Around 2,000 people in the locality are under home quarantine while the police had cordoned off the area after reports that over half a dozen people from states like Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu, who attended a religious gathering at the Markaz Banglewali Masjid of Tablighi Jamaat around March 10, have died due to COVID-19.

Over the past couple of days, the national capital has witnessed a spike in cases of COVID-19. On Sunday, 23 new cases were reported while on Monday, 25 new cases were reported taking the total to 97 cases. Of this, 89 people are still in hospitals as on Monday evening while two died and five were discharged. One of the persons had left India.

A group of doctors had earlier submitted a report to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about the preparations needed in case the number of patients surged. They had suggested three stages of preparation, including what is needed to be done if the number of patients reaches 100, then 500 and 1,000 daily. They had also given the government a blueprint on what to be done if there is community spread of COVID-19 in the national capital.

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(Published 31 March 2020, 04:08 IST)

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