Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on the UK front line of battle against coronavirus pandemic

NHS training staff and testing key workers at home of Premier League champions

 (FILES) In this file photo taken on April 21, 2020 the Etihad Stadium complex, home to English Premier League football team Manchester City, is pictured in Manchester, northern England, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Premier League clubs will meet on May 1, 2020, to discuss whether it is realistic to complete the season as Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero admitted players are scared at being rushed back into action.  / AFP / Paul ELLIS
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Three-hundred-and-fifty nursing staff have been trained at the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Premier League champions have made their stadium available to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service during the pandemic.

And more than 1,000 NHS staff and other key workers are currently being tested for Covid-19 in a drive-through facility in one of the Etihad’s car parks every day.

City have been thanked by health chiefs and politicians for their help, which has included a £50,000 (Dh227,805) donation to the Trussell Foodbank Group, while food intended for the postponed Arsenal and Burnley games was also given to local foodbanks.

City have given 2,000 Easter eggs to young carers in Manchester, 3,000 books to local children and 700 bottles of hand gel to families.

In addition, gift packages have been donated to supporters aged 70 or over, while current and former players have made phone calls to fans.

Kevin de Bruyne and Steph Houghton took part in a Greater Manchester campaign to encourage people to stay at home while Sergio Aguero will deliver a Spanish lesson to children.

Lucy Powell, the Labour MP for Manchester Central, praised City, saying: “I am really proud of what the club is doing during this difficult time, and the leadership they have shown.

“Manchester City is widely recognised for its long-standing commitment to communities across Manchester and has played a fundamental role in supporting the growth and development of our city over many years.

“The manner with which the club has responded to the challenges that our community has been presented with is not only testament to the club’s values and ethos, but also demonstrates a genuine desire to understand the real issues people are facing.”

Dr Ruth Bromley, Chair of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said: "We are so grateful for the amazing support that Manchester City has shown the people of our city and our NHS and social-care colleagues.

"They have been there for our communities, particularly people who have been made most vulnerable during the challenges of lockdown and demonstrated both care and imagination in the contribution they have made."

City’s chief operating officer Omar Berrada added: “As a club, we are acutely conscious of the role we can, and should, play in supporting our city, both day to day, and in times of crisis.

"We feel proud to be playing even a small role within a wider community effort that has once again shown Manchester’s strength of spirit, its resilience and togetherness.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Manchester over the coming weeks through this crisis and beyond, into its recovery, in full confidence that our city will come back stronger than before.”