The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi is to be repurposed as a quarantine facility to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) relinquished the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to the Delhi state government. The SAI announced last month that sports facilities under its purview could be used for quarantine purposes.
A district magistrate had earlier reached out to the SAI and asked if the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium could be used for the purposes of quarantine in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected well in excess of 1,000 Indians to date. Delhi has witnessed a spate of new cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks.
“It has been considered necessary to requisite premises/building of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex, Lodhi Road, under the provisions of Section 34 of DM [Disaster Management] Act 2005 for utilising the same for the purpose of creating quarantine facility to house the persons/people,” read the order from Harleen Kaur, the district magistrate for Southeast Delhi. Section 34 of the Act outlines the power of authorities at the district-level “for the purpose of assisting, protecting or providing relief to the community, in response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.”
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium joins other buildings under the SAI’s purview which are being converted into quarantine facilities. For example, the SAI informed ANI that the “SAI Training Center (STC) in Patiala has also been made ready as a 120-bed quarantine centre.” The National Boxing Centre in Rohtak, Haryana is also being repurposed as a quarantine facility.
Aside from sporting buildings, hotels in Delhi are being used to establish quarantine facilities in addition to the existing isolation wards at hospitals and community health centres across the country. In addition, isolation wards are being established in 5,000 rail coaches across India for COVID-19 with the Railways Board asking its zonal units to be prepared to convert 20,000 coaches into isolation words in the future. Multiple COVID-19 quarantine facilities have also been set up by the Indian Armed Forces across India.