Sri Lankan hotels endure through COVID-19 by turning to patient care

Many hotels have transformed into quarantine facilities and Intermediate Patient Care Centres 

More than 4,000 beds are provided by hotels during a time where hospitals cannot cope with the flood of patients. shutterlk/Shutterstock

As businesses are hard hit by the continuous pandemic lockdowns, Sri Lanka’s hotel industry shows resilience by shifting its focus to patient care, according to The Sunday Times 

Due to the lack of tourist arrivals, many hotels have registered themselves as Intermediate Patient Care Centres (IPCC), providing comfort and care to patients who can afford the cost.  

Around 55 hotels have also become quarantine centres for asymptomatic and mildly affected patients.  

According to the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, about 45 of its members in the Western Province have transformed their hotels to IPCC.  

Sarath Ukwatte, president of the association, said more than 4,000 beds are provided by hotels during a time where hospitals cannot cope with the flood of patients.  

Many patients are opting for hotels as they offer space and privacy that public hospital wards cannot give.  

“We are happy to participate in the health care process in this time of need,” he said. 

Nevertheless, hotel patient care comes with a price. A single room costs SLR17,000 (USD85.57), SLR19,00 (USD95.63) for a twin-share, and SLR24,000 (USD120.80) for three persons.  

Food lodging and housekeeping are provided by the hotels, while health concerns are managed by the private hospitals that have partnered with such hotels.  

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Ukwatte pointed out that operations have been very costly. “We have to sanitise the rooms daily, use PPE equipment and dispose of all masks and other apparatus in keeping with health protocols,” he said. 

“This is off-peak season. We are hopeful for [normal business to resume] in the peak season from November to April, by which time most of us will have been vaccinated and ready to go back to normal life,” Ukwatte added.  

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].