Seven hotels in Kuching offer to be Covid-19 quarantine centres

File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING: Seven hotels here have responded to the government’s plan to turn hotels into quarantine facilities for people who enter Sarawak starting this Sunday, said Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak chairman Mohd Ibrahim Nordin.

He told The Borneo Post today that the hotels have submitted quotations to the National Security Council (NSC) and were dealing directly with the authority.

Mohd Ibrahim said the hotels are in the city centre but he declined to identify them or their rating. He also said that hotels in Sibu and Miri are still considering the move.

He added that most hotels have closed temporarily since the Movement Control Order came into effect on March 18, 2020.

“In term of facilities, hotels are ever ready (to become quarantine centres). The Ministry of Health will brief and help the hotels on sanitation requirements,” he said, declaring MAH Sarawak’s support towards turning hotels as quarantine facilities in the state.

He said one of the guidelines is to sanitise rooms daily, and the hotels are equipped for the purpose as they also have individual toilet facilities and hygienic food among other things.

However, Mohd Ibrahim admitted that the hotels were now financially “bleeding” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

MAH Sarawak has 85 member hotels with 11,876 rooms and seven of these 85 member hotels are ranked 5-Star, 15 (4-Star), 34 (3-Star) and the rest are of other types including the 2-Star and Orchid hotels, he said.

There are a total of 596 hotels in Sarawak with a total room inventory of 22,061.

Yesterday, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah announced that everyone entering Sarawak, be it by land, air or sea, will be placed under quarantine for 14 days at quarantine centres starting April 5.

He said this was in line with the federal government’s policy where travellers who enter Kuala Lumpur would also be quarantined for 14 days.

Besides the quarantine centres being set up by the committee, he said they were also looking for hotels to be turned into quarantine centres at points of entry.

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