As many as 6,068 rooms in 84 hotels of various categories have been booked by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for quarantining travellers coming into the city from abroad and from different parts of the country.
Over 300 people flew into the city from London on Monday and have been quarantined in various hotels based on the standard operating procedure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare to check the spread of the novel corona virus.
An order issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru (Urban) stated that a total of 2,565 rooms have been booked in 18 five-star hotels, 1,927 in 26 three-star hotels and 1,576 in 40 budget hotels across the city.
The room rents have to be paid by the travellers. BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar told The Hindu that the government had authorised the civic body’s special commissioner to arrive at the rental rates. A committee was later set up and, following discussions with hotel managements, the rates for all categories of hotels were finalised.
The rental for a room in a five-star hotel (including lunch and dinner) is ₹4,100 per person and ₹5,900 per couple. The average cost of a room (including lunch and dinner) in a three-star hotel will be ₹1,850 per person per day and ₹2,450 per day for a couple.
The rate for non-star hotels (budget hotels) was earlier ₹900 per person. However, the hotel managements sought an enhancement, and the cost is now ₹1,200 per person, inclusive of three meals.
Sources in the BBMP said that officials deputed at the Kempegowda International Airport show the rate card to the travellers coming in. “The foreign returnees choose a hotel where they are sent to be quarantined,” the source said.
More quarantine centres
Apart from the 6,000-odd rooms booked in hotels, the BBMP is requisitioning marriage halls (choultries, kalyana mantapas), government run and private hostels, youth hostels, university hostels to serve as quarantine centres. The BBMP Commissioner said that the list of these will be ready by Tuesday.
“There are many people coming into the city by trains and by road. However, not all may be able to pay for the rooms in hotels. To accommodate such persons, the marriage halls and hostels are being requisitioned. We will ensure quarantine norms are followed in these places with regard to social distancing,” said Lokesh M., Special Commissioner, BBMP. He added that the civic body was ensuring that all these quarantine centres have basic facilities, including beds and clean toilets.
Asked if there was resistance from the local communities with regard to setting up of these quarantine centres, he said that the civic body faced some resistance in the initial stages. “We are now under the third phase of the lockdown and there is greater awareness among citizens. Much of their fears of the spread of COVID-19 have been allayed,” he said.
“Also, those who test positive will not be in the quarantine centres; they will shifted to designated hospitals,” he added.
Mr. Anil Kumar pointed out that the 14-day institutional quarantining of travellers does not apply to those coming into the city from districts within the State.
Teams have been deputed at various entry points into the city and check posts have been set up by the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru (Urban). All travellers are subjected to medical tests at these check posts that have been set up on Tumakuru Road, Old Madras Road and Hosur Road.