Located in Croydon, a suburb of London, the Best Western Hotel is usually full of visiting families, out-of-town construction workers, and business travelers.
However, today’s lobby is empty of all guests and furniture, except for a bottle of hand sanitizer, a box of face masks, and one table with a notice that “coughing and sneezing spreads the disease.”
Behind an empty check-in counter, a 4-foot machine decorated with the phrase “Virus killer” spins.
This 107-room inn is now a recovery ward for coronavirus patients. Pilot program to rescue a local hospital It’s the second wave of the pandemic and under great tension.
Hotel manager Alex Palaghiu said the transition from a four-star hotel to a temporary health facility was driven by the need to support the country’s sick United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS).
“We are very proud to be able to participate in this, so it is a great pleasure to be able to participate in something. We believe that everyone should come together to support the NHS and save lives. I will. “
This is the first hotel in the UK to participate in the project, but if successful, it could serve as a model for further remodeling a spare room in the hospitality industry, which is often emptied in the country’s blockade. There is.
Hospital beds are a valuable item
The NHS is currently astounding under an unprecedented crisis, with more coronavirus patients hospitalized than at any time in the pandemic. A new, more infectious variant of Covid-19, which authorities say is out of control, has caused record rates of infection.
Boris Johnson also warned that the country’s intensive care unit (ICU) is at risk of being overwhelmed by the disease, which has infected more than 3.2 million people and killed 84,000.
Hospital beds are currently one of the most valuable items in the country, but so far only three patients are recovering on the ground floor of an empty hotel.
Hotel owners want to send hundreds more Covid-19 patients to health authorities.
“The hospitality industry is virtually closed, so we’re all going to open the doors and get sick as soon as possible,” said Mehanawab, CEO of the London Hotel Group, where Best Western participates. explained.
Croydon hotels do not have healthcare professionals to support patients. All patients are on the last day of the quarantine period and require minimal care.
“I and my staff are confident that everything went smoothly and created a safe environment for our staff and these early discharge patients,” Paragiu explained.
Contactless meals are delivered three times a day, and telephone calls are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in case of an emergency.
Staff have completed NHS-provided video training courses, strengthened hygiene practices, and installed air filtration systems throughout the building.
“It feels like we’re not scared,” Paragiu said when asked if he and his staff were reluctant to accept Covid’s patients.
“We are properly trained and cleaning standards are higher than ever. So we are confident.”
The 4-star hotel is in the immediate vicinity of a major hospital and staff here say it is desperate to provide some rest to overwhelming doctors and nurses.
A study conducted by King’s College London in the summer of 2020 found that nearly half of UK ICU staff showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the people surveyed experienced thoughts about self-harm, while others turned to alcohol abuse.
The hotel brand boss says he keeps in touch with NHS leaders daily and hopes the spare room will fill up in the next few days.
“Through Best Western, more than 5,000 hotel rooms are available. Many other (hotel) brands are approaching us and within a few weeks 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 hotels to assist the NHS. We were able to open our room, “says Nawab.
As the number of cases increases in the UK, health officials may soon accept the offer.
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