With hospitals running out of rooms for the care of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, a few hotels and serviced apartments have stepped in to offer them space.
The hospitals provide doctors and nurses on the premises 24×7 and the patients are sent from the hospitals to the hotels based on their requirement.
Clarion Hotel, which gave an entire block last year, has begun lending a helping hand this year too with 150 rooms. S. Madhan Raj, manager-operations, said they were the first to get approval from the health department to start the facility in association with a hospital last year.
“Our managing director Aboobucker felt he had to do his bit for the society since many persons were not sure of home quarantine last year. Since we served around 1,500 isolated persons last year and there was a need this year, we started the facility from mid April. Our staff are well-aware of the protocols to be followed and we ensure their safety with good high-protein diets and regular health checks,” he said.
At Hotel Regent Central Deccan, 50 rooms have been blocked for such persons who require isolation. Here too the patients come after being referred by hospitals. “They come here after the treatment is over and don’t need emergency medical care. However, we do have doctors and nurses and follow all safety protocols. People who prefer pure vegetarian food prefer our hotel,” said R. Gowrishankar, general manager.
Another hotel in T. Nagar, which did not want to be named, has leased out its rooms to a medical care provider. “We have outsourced everything from housekeeping to pest control, maintenance and even security. The only service that we provide is to prepare food, which the medical care provider serves to the guests,” said a hotel source.
A few serviced apartments too have come on board to help such persons, who require home quarantine.
“I stay alone and when I fell sick with COVID-19 I preferred to stay at a hotel and self-quarantine since I felt the basic medical care would help. It was comfortable and I came back home well-rested,” said a person who recently tested negative after treatment. The Chennai Corporation had said that hotels need not take any permission for helping out hospitals to set up such facilities.