COVID-19: Pay-and-use quarantine units at 50 hotels in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A total of 50 hotels have been designated as pay-and-use quarantine facilities by the civic bodies in major Odisha cities in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Tuesday.

At least a dozen hotels have been roped in by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to offer quarantine facilities to people at a price in the state capital, while similar arrangements have been made in around 26 hotels in neighbouring Cuttack as part of measures taken by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19, they said.

A large number of quarantine centres are required to be set up to tackle the coronavirus crisis, and many government buildings have already been designated as such facilities, a senior official said.

However, it is necessary to make more such units available as part of the state”s preparedness to deal with any emerging situation, he said.

Three hotels in Bhubaneswar were initially roped in for the purpose while seven more subsequently joined the pool.

The Puri Municipality has tied up with at least three hotels for providing quarantine facilities on payment in the seaside pilgrim town, the official said, adding that the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) has also made similar arrangement in the west Odisha city.

“Apart from setting up a large number of hospital beds exclusively for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, we are making available quarantine centres for people who have come from abroad and other states recently.

“If the requirement increases, these hotels will provide self-quarantine facilities,” he said.

The number of hotels providing pay-and-use quarantine facilities in Bhubaneswar has now increased to 12 with two more hotels – one in Cuttack Road and another in Mancheswar area – voluntarily joining the scheme, said an official of the BMC, the civic body in the state capital.

“While other hotels extended their services on a payment of around Rs 2,500 per day, these two hotels are charging Rs 300 per person for food only and offering free accommodation,” he said, adding that some guidelines have been laid down by the civic body for people availing the facilities.

The person seeking to stay under self-quarantine in the listed hotels on a pay-and -use basis can avail the facility for a maximum of 14 days.

The designated visiting doctors or medical officers to these centres will decide the course of action, if anyone found suspected, the official said.

The hotels and the guests will need to adhere to the quarantine protocol as issued by the states health and family welfare department and the Centre, he said.

Similarly, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has identified 26 hotels in the city for providing quarantine facilities on payment, the civic body”s Commissioner Ananaya Das said.

Tariff charged by these hotels for self-quarantine facilities range between Rs 450 and Rs 2,000 per day, she said.

A total of 7,276 temporary medical camps have been set up in all the 6,798 gram panchayats in the state with necessary facilities to meet any emergent situation, sources said.

According to officials, around 84,000 migrant workers and over 4,500 foreign returnees came to the state in the last couple of days in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. All of them have been asked to stay in home quarantine, a health department official said.

Four COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state so far.

(PTI)

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