Kolkata's historic Eden Gardens stadium to be used as coronavirus quarantine centre

Venue to be used for Kolkata police personnel who have contracted the virus

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Kolkata's legendary Eden Gardens cricket stadium is set to be used as a quarantine centre for Indian police who have the coronavirus, officials said on 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 and 2016 T20 World Cup finals.

Nearly 550 Kolkata police have tested positive for the coronavirus and two have died.

"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," Cricket Association of Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya was quoted as saying by AFP.

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.

The stadium is also used by Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders but this year's tournament has been repeatedly postponed because of the pandemic.

India's nationwide coronavirus toll rose to over 820,000 cases on Saturday with 22,193 deaths.