KOCHI: Hotels and accommodation facilities are facing a new challenge with people, who have been advised to go into isolation after being identified as primary contacts of Covid positive patients, taking rooms hiding their real purpose.Recently, YMCA in Kochi had to close down it complex completely when two staffers of Kalyan Jewellers who took rooms there tested positive for Covid-19. Officials of YMCA said the two didn’t reveal the exact reason for taking the rooms and they tested positive a day after.
“They took the rooms on September 30. On October 1, they said they had tested positive and wanted to continue their stay in the facility. We said YMCA was not prepared to be a quarantine facility because a lot of other guests were staying. However, we had to close down our facility and disinfect the entire premises,” said a YMCA official.
Hotel industry experts say that this type of activity by a few will adversely affect the business of hotels and guest houses as they will be forced to close down their facilities for over 10 days if such a guest turns positive. “There are a few select hotels which offer rooms for people who seek accommodation for quarantining. If any one wants to go in for isolation, they should opt for such hotels,” said Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) general secretary G Jayapal.
He said immature behaviour of a few could really pose problems to others. Federation of Kerala Hotels Association secretary Joe Joseph said this was the biggest risk the hotel sector is facing now. “We will not be able to verify whether the guest is taking the room for staying in quarantine. Insisting on the Covid-19 test result from a guest is not practical. This is the main reason that 90 per cent of the hotels have not started their operations,” he added.
When contacted, Kalyan Jewellers official spokesperson said they directed all staff of the MG Road showroom in Kochi to go into isolation after a couple of employees tested positive for Covid. “It was as per the direction of the health department that we told our staff to go into isolation. The two staffers who took the rooms in YMCA were from Palakkad and North Paravoor. They did so because they don’t have enough facilities at their homes to stay in isolation,” the spokesperson said.The two staffers didn’t hide the purpose of stay from YMCA officials. They had clearly communicated that they were taking rooms to stay in isolation, the spokesperson said.