Wuhan virus: Hotels in Southeast Asia are adding preventive measures

(PHOTO: Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Hotels in Southeast Asia are stepping up preventive measures as the tourism sector faces the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. While it’s been a challenging time for the travel sector, hotel operators are working closely with the respective countries’ governments to ensure precautionary measures are in place. At least 19 countries have announced confirmed cases of infection, with 231 deaths reported in China where the outbreak first began.

Group Chief Operating Officer of Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), Kieran Twomey, said in response to queries by Yahoo Lifestyle SEA, “Our staff have been briefed on the guidelines provided by the local health authorities. Front desks are equipped with infrared thermometers to conduct mandatory temperature checks on all guests. Staff and guests who are unwell with any symptoms of fever, flu or respiratory problems are asked to consult a doctor immediately. For overseas guests, our hotel teams will assist to call in a doctor.”

Twomey added: “Measures include staff briefings to reinforce the rules and practices of good personal hygiene, provision of medical masks and gloves for staff and guests, as well as hand sanitisers that are placed at guest contact areas such as hotel lobbies. Special attention has also been placed to sanitise public contact points such as elevator buttons, reception counters and conference/meeting rooms. The cleaning of guest rooms has also been stepped up.”

MHR’s staff have also conducted daily meetings to review the situation and are in constant communication with staff and guests to advise them on appropriate measures to take.

Among the hotels MHR operates in Asia, there are six in Singapore – the Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Orchard Hotel, Copthorne King’s, M Hotel, Studio M and M Social; three in Malaysia – Copthorne Hotel Cameron Highlands, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur and Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang; one in Thailand, Millennium Resort Patong Phuket; one in the Philippines, The Heritage Hotel Manila; and one in Indonesia which is Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has also rolled out measures. In a statement shared with Yahoo Lifestyle SEA, IHG said: “The health and wellbeing of our guests and colleagues take top priority and we are closely monitoring the situation. We have taken a number of steps in the last couple of weeks to raise awareness of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia with our hotel teams.”

IHG added: “Our hotels have been prepared on policies, procedures and preventive measures to minimise the risk, as well as the actions to take in the event of an occurrence at the hotel. Our hotels continue to operate and welcome guests. We would advise any guest to contact their embassy or consulate if they require further information or have specific inquiries regarding travel advice.”

IHG operates Regent, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental and Six Senses across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Click here for stories on the developing Wuhan virus crisis: sg.news.yahoo.com/health

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