Kolkata, March 25 (IANS) Sports associations in the state, led by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), are ready to help the West Bengal government if they need their facilities to create a temporary medical facility to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a pan-India lockdown for 21 days on Tuesday night. In India, more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported till now and 11 lives have also been lost.
Hours before PM Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had extended till March 31 a previously announced lockdown upto March 27 in the entire state.
"The CAB won't shy away if the government needs to use our facilities for quarantine purposes," a CAB official told IANS on Wednesday.
The Eden Gardens' newly refurbished indoor facility and the players dormitory could be used if need be, a West Bengal government official said.
"Places like the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Salt Lake Stadium are also there. We hope we never have to even think of such a time where we need all these to create a temporary medical facility, but yes, we have state bodies supporting us and we are ready," said the official.
At present, West Bengal has nine affected cases with one of the patients in the state succumbing to the disease.
Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly also urged people to be sensible and stay indoors.
In a 45-second video posted on his Twitter handle, Ganguly said: "To my fellow countrymen, to the citizens around the world, these are very testing times in our lives but we will fight it. Listen to what every state government says, listen to what every health department says. Listen to the directives of the central government as they say staying at home is important. Be safe and be isolated.
"Most importantly, be sensible. Don't try out things believing that nothing is going to happen to you. Be within the closed doors. I know it's tough but that's the only solution. Good will happen, we will fight with this and we will get over this."