Dortmund to convert Signal Iduna Park into coronavirus treatment centre

The German club has become the latest to offer their home to local health officials

Borussia Dortmund have announced that Signal Iduna Park will be used as a treatment centre for coronavirus patients.

Starting on Saturday, Dortmund will convert their stadium into a facility to combat the outbreak with the assistance of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of Westphalia-Lippe (KVWL).

The stadium, the largest in German football, will now be used to assist patients that are suspected of having the virus exclusively, not those who have already contracted and are battling the illness.

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A treatment wing will be opened in the fourth floor of the north grandstand will be open from noon to 4 pm every day.

“Our stadium is the figurehead of the city, a fixed point for almost everyone in Dortmund and the surrounding area and, thanks to its technical, infrastructural and spatial conditions, the ideal place to actively help people who are potentially infected or over-infected by the coronavirus symptoms such as respiratory diseases and fever,” said CEOs Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer.  

“It is our duty and our desire to do everything in our power to help these people. In the KVWL we have a perfect partner at our side to lead this fight successfully.”

Dortmund are not the only club to offer their stadium during this time, as Manchester City have offered the use of the Etihad Stadium to the National Health Service to train doctors and nurses during the coronavirus crisis.

Real Madrid meanwhile announced their intention to set up the Santiago Bernabeu stadium as a hub for storing medical supplies, while also establishing the stadium as a place for businesses to make monetary or material donations to combat the pandemic.

In their statement, Dortmund made it clear that the new setup at Signal Iduna Park was merely to complement the existing hospital structures with primary practitioners still being the first point of contact.

The aim, the club says, is to break down possible chains of infections by keeping those that may have contracted the virus away from other patients, doctors and nurses.

Each patient will be assessed by a doctor, who will make a decisions as to whether the persons should continue to receive outpatient treatment or be moved to a regular facility.

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“Sure, the idea is unusual at first – those with a fever and respiratory problems in the stadium for examination – but in fact we have the ideal conditions here. We were therefore very happy about the offer and the help from Dortmund,” said Dr. Dirk Spelmeyer, chairman of the KVWL.