Coronavirus outbreak: What measures have Delhi-NCR high-end hotels taken?

From Radisson to Park Inn by Radisson, a look at how hotels in Delhi NCR are tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.

Given hotels are where tourists from across the world congregate, making them especially vulnerable, they are among the key spaces that need to be disinfected thoroughly. Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, hotels in the national capital have put in place certain measures to reassure guests even as their occupancy and revenues slide. We spoke to some high-end hotels to know their efforts to check the spread of the virus. As on March 20, more than 200 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in India.

Screening of tourists

Saurav Dutta, General Manager of Park Inn by Radisson, IP Extension, New Delhi said the hotel has been coordinating with the local health/police authorities to provide information on guests with a travel history to affected areas.

The general manager informed, “We have been screening temperatures of all the guests at the entry point, through infrared thermometers. We have also been checking if they have travelled to an affected area or come into contact with a known case in the past 14 days.”

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Dos and don’ts for staff

However, it is not just tourists who are under the radar — hotels like Radisson, Noida have made lists of dos and don’ts for their staff, as well as holding town hall sessions with doctors in attendance. Kshitij Jawa, General Manager, Radisson Noida, said these advisories are displayed conspicuously around the hotel: lobby, main porch, kitchen, guest lifts, staff lifts, back-offices and staff entrance.

Here’s a list of instructions needed to be followed by the staff members

  • All staff members have to be screened through infrared thermometers and provided with sanitisers before entering the hotel premises.
  • Ensure that the entire kitchen and pieces of equipment are being disinfected and cleaned using appropriate chemicals multiple times a day.
  • The staff is also checked for any symptoms being developed and accordingly either being sent to a designated hospital for further screening or asked to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • In case the hotel has a positive case, employees who have cleaned the room or served the individual/individuals would be isolated and quarantined.

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Hotels like Park Inn by Radisson, New Delhi have ensured that their kitchens are sanitised to ward off the virus, mentioned Sumit Chowdhury, executive assistant manager of the hotel.  “We are ensuring that crockery cutlery and glassware and all utensils are being washed at temperatures above 65-degree centigrade to make sure they are sanitised properly.” 

Gyms, pools closed

Park Inn’s Dutta stated that “banquet halls and meetings spaces have been shut down as per the directives received from the government till March 31, 2020.” Swimming pools and gyms are closed too.

Dealing with COVID-19 suspected cases

Jawa said that after guests check-in, they are called on multiple times to ensure they are well. “Designated team members also share important information and precautionary measures with them daily,” he added.

If the hotel believes a person might be a COVID-19 suspect, the authorities concerned are swiftly informed and the guest asked to keep himself quarantined. “The entire floor including all the touchpoints of the guests concerned shall be sanitised using appropriate chemicals,” informed Jawa. 

During this period only designated staff shall be allowed to serve the guest in his/her room, using personal protection equipment and sanitation at all points during this period. The guest would also be advised to practice social distancing and minimum contact with the outer world until the test reports arrive.

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Flexible cancellation policies

As far as the cancellation policy is concerned, hotels have been lenient. Radisson mentions in a mail to its guest members, “We are constantly updating our global cancellation policy to reflect the most recent developments related to COVID-19 and to offer our guests as much flexibility and planning comfort as possible.”

In fact, they are also allowing free modifications or free cancellations for all existing and new reservations (in all Radisson Hotel Group hotels worldwide) for stays until April 30, 2020.

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However, a couple of hotels reached out to — like Pullman, New Delhi Aerocity and Crowne Plaza — refused to comment.

Here’s a quick coronavirus guide for you to stay updated: Who all should be tested for Covid-19 and when? | How should you quarantine yourself? | How often (and how) should you clean your home? | What is the Janata Curfew announced by PM Modi? | Who are restricted from coming to India, and from when? | How long can the virus live on surfaces or in air around you? | Still more Coronavirus Q&A Explained news here

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