Service with a mask: Inside paid quarantine hotels in Visakhapatnam


“This is what the pandemic has done to us, we are scared to be around anything that is not sanitised and disinfected,” says Siddhartha Ganguly who lately flew to Visakhapatnam from Mumbai and is confined to a lodge for a seven-day quarantine. “It is a completely different approach that the hotels are taking. The rooms that once smelled of room fresheners now smell of disinfectants and sanitizers. The hotel staff does not enter our rooms and all the essentials are given from an arm’s distance. While the hotel does not provide laundry services we are given clean bedsheets once in every four days which are dropped off at our doors,” says Siddhartha.

The tips launched by the Andhra Pradesh authorities mandates all of the travellers from excessive danger zones- Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Gujrat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh should endure a 14-day quarantine. This contains seven days of institutional quarantine adopted by seven days of residence quarantine.

Travellers arriving on the Visakhapatnam International Airport throughout a nationwide lockdown.  
| Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

To assist the authorities deal with the scenario, a few hotels in town have signed as much as present lodging to travellers who didn’t want to quarantine at authorities establishments. “There are seven hotels in the city that offer over 400 rooms for travellers. This includes one three-star hotel and six four and five-star hotels. Before allowing these hotels to be centres of institutional quarantine, officials from the health department inspected them to ensure there were measures taken to disinfect the premises and proper physical distancing was maintained. They also trained the staff on proper ways to interact with those in quarantine,” says Pavan Kartheek MV, vice chairman of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Andhra Pradesh.

Changed strategy

In Visakhapatnam, Daspalla Executive Court has the best variety of visitors for paid quarantine. “We have 45 guests who have arrived from domestic and international destinations. We received our first guests on May 19 when the first international rescue operations flight landed in Visakhapatnam. Since May 25 we have people who have arrived here after domestic travel,” says common supervisor S Prashanth.

Staff members of Daspalla Exective Hotel serving food to people under institutional quarantine in their hotel

Staff members of Daspalla Exective Hotel serving meals to individuals underneath institutional quarantine in their lodge
 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The lodge is at the moment working with 70 % of workers that has been specifically skilled for this. The lodge supplies meals to the visitors in disposal plates that are positioned outdoors the room on a trolley. “The staff rings the bell to let the guest know the food is outside and leaves. The guests then take the food from the tray. They are expected to discard the used cutlery in bins kept outside the rooms. Twice a day, staff members in personal protective equipment empty these bins. The trash collected from these rooms is disposed of separately,” explains Prashanth. Once the visitors take a look at the rooms are disinfected and saved vacant for 3 days earlier than the following batch of visitors can occupy them. A group of medical doctors visits these hotels to check the individuals underneath quarantine.

All the disinfectants and sanitizers sum as much as an extra price of over six lakh to the administration. “Common touch points like door knobs and lift buttons are cleaned immediately after every use. The floors are cleaned with disinfectants every two hours,” says Prashanth.

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