On Friday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued a notice to Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to hand over some facilities of Wankhede Stadium to the civic body to convert it into a quarantine facility for high-risk contacts of COVID-19 patients in the city. The BMC is expecting a spike in COVID-19 cases this month.
As per sources, the BMC sought for an immediate handover of the stadium and communication in this regards has been initiated by BMC Assistant Municipal Commissioner Chanda Jadhav, who heads the A Ward for the stadium premises on Marine Drive stating that “The premises will be used for the emergency staff of ‘A’ ward and quarantining people who have come in contact with COVID-19 patients and are not symptomatic.”
Confirming the receipt of the letter, MCA secretary Sanjay Naik said the association will cooperate with the authorities. “We are waiting for further instructions from the assistant commissioner,” he said.
Built-in 1974, the iconic Wankhede stadium has hosted the 2011 cricket World Cup final and now joins a string of gymkhanas on Marine Drive that has been acquired by the BMC to set up quarantine facilities. As per sources, the Garware clubhouse, which has 45 rooms, and the Mumbai Cricket Association lounge inside the stadium, which has a capacity to house 400-500 beds are most likely to be used as quarantine center.
Meanwhile, the National Sports Club of India in Worli and Mahalaxmi Racecourse has already been converted into temporary healthcare facilities by the BMC.
So far, Mumbai has been the worst affected due to the pandemic coronavirus with around 17,512 positive COVID-19 cases, as on Friday.