As coronavirus spreads, Patiala hotels, guest houses, mall told to report foreign travellers

As coronavirus spreads, Patiala hotels, guest houses, mall told to report foreign travellers

File photo

Karam Prakash 
Tribune News Service
Patiala, February 28

Patiala District Health Department has issued an advisory to hotels, guest houses and shopping malls under its purview to immediately report foreign travelers, officials said on Friday.  

The advisory came after Punjab Health Department issued similar orders, as the coronavirus outbreak turns global, making its way out of China and into more distant countries.

In particular, hoteliers have been told to make enquires about their customers’ travel history and report them to nodal officers. Hotel owners have been directed to report travelers from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Iran, Italy, Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea—all countries that have been struggling to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Management of high-end restaurants and hotels have been advised to have their floors cleaned every day, and to use alcohol-based cleaning products on door handles and furniture at least thrice a day.

Staff at hotels have also been told to avoid direct contact with travellers, including avoiding the customary handshake as a greeting.  Hotels have also been told to report any cases of possible coronavirus without any delay. Hotels have already been directed to use posters highlighting signs, symptoms, and precautions of the deadly ailment at their entrances and common rooms.

The district health department has been conducting mock drills for staff at district hospitals in case of any emergency.

Patiala Civil Surgeon Harish Malhotra said that the health department was taking all kinds of preventive measures.

Some 3,000 persons in Punjab have already been screened for the virus. Punjab has reported no case of the deadly ailment so far.

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