Amid a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals in Kolkata have joined hands with hotels to house asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms. By Tanvi Jain
A major spike in the number of Coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, amid a limited number of beds in hospitals, has left Kolkata hospitals with no other option but to tie up with hotels. The agreement has been made so that patients with mild symptoms can be adjusted in the hotel rooms and only those with severe conditions are kept in the hospitals.
Moreover, the arrangement can also be viewed as a good business opportunity, considering the fact that the pandemic has put the a pause to business. Recently, two COVID-19 hospitals in Salt Lake tied up with local hotels to provide room to patients with mild symptoms. Others that have made similar arrangements include AMRI Hospitals with Hotel Monotel and ILS Hospitals with The Sonnet. Meanwhile, Belle Vue Clinic, Medica, Fortis, Apollo, Woodlands, have also joined the list.
Some of the major facilities that the hotels will be providing to these patients as a part of the quarantine package include wi-fi, meals, packaged mineral water, tea, coffee, separate entry and exit and on-site monitoring by the medical staff. However, the patients will have to bear the per day cost of the package on their own.
As per reports, Hotel and Restaurants Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) General Secretary, Sudesh Poddar, had earlier told the media that some mid-category hotels had initially offered around 200 rooms for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. As per reports, it has also been indicated that there may be over 2,000 hotel rooms that will be provided for such services. Moreover, in the past, as many as 65 city hotels had offered around 2,600 rooms to quarantine those returning from abroad.
West Bengal Government recently confirmed community transmission of the virus, for the first time since the outbreak. The state has still not resumed domestic flights completely, and has extended the current ban till July 31. While the state has so far recorded at least 47,000 cases, Kolkata alone has over 14,000 cases of Coronavirus, with Alipore being one of the worst-hit containment zones.