Monday, 30th October 2017

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Hotels open doors in the time of a pandemic

Taj offers rooms to doctors; ITC, Park organise community kitchens for migrant workers

By Smita Tripathi in New Delhi
  • Published 9.04.20, 11:16 AM
  • Updated 9.04.20, 11:36 AM
  • 2 mins read
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(Representational) Tata Group’s IHCL has allocated rooms at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, Taj Lands End, Taj Santacruz, The President and Ginger, Andheri-East, in Mumbai Shutterstock

Hospitality chains across the country are taking a slew of initiatives to help healthcare providers and the community at large during the coronavirus outbreak.

Leading the charge is Tata Group’s IHCL that on Friday opened the doors of seven of its properties for providing accommodation to health care workers. The company has allocated rooms at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, Taj Lands End, Taj Santacruz, The President and Ginger, Andheri-East, in Mumbai. Ginger Madgaon and Ginger City Centre, Noida, are also offering rooms to the medical fraternity.

Six other Ginger hotels across the country are being used for quarantine purposes. These include one wing of Ginger- Bhubaneshwar, Ginger-Faridabad and Ginger-Inner Ring Road, Bangalore, Ginger-MIDC, Andheri in Mumbai, Ginger-Pantnagar in Uttarakhand and Ginger-Vadapalani in Chennai.

Besides offering rooms in its hotels, IHCL is also providing free meals to medical staff in key hospitals in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi after a tie up with chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The initiative that started on March 23 will continue till April 14 and has seen distribution of over 130,000 meals till date.

The company has also provided over 155,000 meals to migrant workers in Mumbai over the past week. It will continue to feed them during the lockdown.

Following closely is ITC Hotels. Its key initiative has been the distribution of food across cities based on the requirements of the local administration as well as hospitals. ITC Maurya and Sheraton in Delhi are providing 1,500 meals daily for migrant workers while ITC Gardenia in Bangalore is providing food packets to the Municipal Corporation. Fortune hotel in Lucknow is also providing meals for migrant workers. ITC Grand Central in Mumbai is delivering meals to doctors and healthcare workers in key hospitals. This initiative will be progressively rolled out in other metros including Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad, the company said in a statement.

Food distribution at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore.
Food distribution at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore. ITC Hotels

In addition to providing meals, ITC Hotel properties in Goa and Jaipur are providing shower caps for doctors and healthcare workers and also ensuring availability of sanitisers. “ITC Maratha, Mumbai, was identified as one of the quarantine spaces by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

ITC Hotels is also working closely with the local administration and embassies and offered similar space at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, and ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad, to enable stopover of asymptomatic international travellers as and when required,” ITC Hotels said in a statement.

The Park Hotels has launched an initiative, #THEParkHeartofHope, to provide a helping hand to its guests and neighbours. The Park Bangalore, The Park Chennai, The Park Calangute Goa, The Park Baga River Goa and The Park Hyderabad are providing neighbourhood services for all, especially senior citizens, the company said in a statement.

Zone by The Park, Calcutta, is working closely with the West Bengal government and has assigned 20 rooms on a daily basis for medical practitioners. All other hotels are also working closely with respective state governments and local authorities to provide rooms for medical staff, health workers and international tourists stranded in the country due to the lockdown.

Most Park hotels are also providing free meals for daily wagers and migrant workers near the hotels.

Not to be left behind, Indian budget hotel chain OYO has also offered free accommodation to medical workers and foreigners who are stranded. Oyo’s founder and CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, told CNBC that selected sites from its international network of hotels and homestays would be designated to house health care professionals, police and army staff working on the frontlines of the outbreak, including in the US and India. Others would be repurposed as “makeshift” isolation rooms for asymptomatic people.