Inspired by China’s Wuhan, where sports stadiums were converted into medical centres, soon, sports facilities in India too could be turned into medical centres to accommodate patients in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
With the number of cases rising, there is a possibility that Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres with hostel facilities could be converted into isolation wards or intensive care units, if necessary. According to a report by The New Indian Express, the sports ministry has said that all sports centres under SAI’s jurisdiction are now available to the health ministry at any time.
The sports ministry has directed SAI to allow health departments of state and centre to use its facilities wherever available and whenever needed confirmed the Sports secretary RS Julaniya. “In the interest of public health, all centres of Sports Authority of India, including its hostels would be made available to the health ministry,” Julaniya told the publication.
One such centre being the National Boxing Academy in Rohtak, which could be taken over by the district administration for accommodating patients and quarantine them.
SAI has closed all centres due to the global pandemic, all trainees have left for home and the facilities are unoccupied right now. The Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune is also expected to be converted into a quarantine facility if the need arises.
However, SAI, though, has not received any formal communication. If the SAI premises are used, then they should be able to house at least 1,200-1,500 patients and individuals.
Julaniya further informed The New Indian Express, “I have already spoken to SAI DG and he is instructing Regional Directors of all SAI centres to make its facilities available.”