“The hotels that are functioning as satellite centres for hospitals are registering occupancy in excess of 70%. With the prospect of regular business resuming any time soon extremely bleak, more hotels have now stepped forward to offer their rooms as Covid-care facilities. We have sent the new list of hotels Jto Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the nodal officer for Covid in Kolkata,” Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India secretary Suresh Poddar said.
On the new list, Senses Hotel in Salt Lake Sector V and Uluberia’s Amaya Resort have offered 50 rooms each while Hotel Narayani Enclave in Kasba has offered 40 rooms. Fern Residency in Chinar Park with 38 rooms, Maureen in VIP Road with 35 rooms and four others —Arya Hotel, Arya Residency
The last hotel to tie up with a hospital is West Willows at Beckbagan. The 25-room property has become a satellite facility of Belle Vue Clinic. Visitel with 40 rooms was one of the first to make the switch when it tied up with Apollo Hospital. Since then, Sonnet hotel (30+10) has tied up with ILS, Monotel (17) with AMRI, Arya Enclave (20) with Desun, Hotel Acme (32) with Woodlands, 02 Oxygen with Columbia Asia and Hotel Shalimar in Howrah with Narayana Speciality.
“The tie-up with hotels has helped hospitals meet the bed crisis. Our ILS facility has deployed staff at Sonnet hotel to monitor the patients. Apart from 24×7 presence of four nurses, doctors visit the facility twice a day. In addition, all medical amenities, including oxygen cylinders, are kept at the hotel to meet emergency needs,” said ILS group vicepresident Debashis Dhar.
Doctors take a call on when a patient’s care needs to shift from a satellite facility to a hospital or when the person can be discharged. Hotels provide housekeeping services and food to the patients, most of whom are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
“The rooms are provided with an oximeter, thermometer, sphygmomanometer (machine to measure blood pressure) and at times, saline stands. The hospital provides a week’s supply of medicines to the patient,” said a hotel GM.
Hospital authorities also train hotel staff, front desk, housekeeping and waiters on how to go about their jobs safely. Only digital documents are accepted and payments, too, have to be transferred digitally.
A midway home-type accommodation — between one’s own residence and the hospital — is a good idea to host less-symptomatic or asymptomatic cases. But care should be taken to ensure that the general complaints, which thousands of patients seem to have with hospitals (especially regarding billing), do not afflict these institutions as well.