In a massive development, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday, has written to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to handover the Wankhede stadium to convert it into a quarantine center. The letter states that the premises will be used for emergency staff residing in the 'A' Ward of Mumbai and to quarantine asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 positive patients. The payment for the use of the premises will be done in due course of time. Mumbai's COVID-19 tally stands at 17512 cases with 655 deaths.
BMC has stated that the acquisition will be on a termperory basis and soes not grant any legality to the structure and has warned that failure to handover the stadium will result in action under IPC section 188. Wankhede stadium is Mumbai's premiere cricket stadium, most famous for hosting the 2011 ICC Cricket World cup final - which resulted in India's victory. Sources state that the MCA has agreed to handover the stadium.
The new BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed officials to focus on ways to increase the doubling rate of the Coronavirus from 10 days to 20 days in the city. Furthermore, the city will be divided into seven different zones, with one IAS officer looking after each zone. Moreover, the BMC plans to quarantine 10 close contacts instead of 3 close contacts of any COVID-19 positive patient. The BMC is aiming to improve the bed management at the public and private hospitals and to increase the isolation centers and isolation beds to over 75,000.
The BMC has set up 2646 containment zones throughout Mumbai, even though 321 zones were opened up as they had not reported any new case for past 14 days. With over 1 million people living in five square kilometer area, Dharavi is Mumbai's most densely populated area and has been under severe scrutiny - recording 916 cases with 29 deaths. With the rise in cases, the government has not lifted the lockdown in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region after May 3, but CM Thackeray has demanded Centre's police forces and is mulling resuming local trains for essential workers.