Health minister thanks arranging hotels for corona patients

November 27, 2020 - 18:15

TEHRAN – Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki has expressed his gratitude to the tourism minister and colleagues for being ready to turn hotels into shelters for coronavirus patients. 

The state of readiness for turning (certain) hotels into shelters for the recovering coronavirus patients and healthcare professionals is highly appreciated, Namaki noted on Wednesday in a letter to the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan.

It is hoped that this empathy and collaboration would be continuing until the pandemic is completely controlled, he concluded. 

Earlier this month, Mounesan publicized that his ministry is ready to help turn some hotels into shelters for coronavirus patients based on a plan proposed by the health ministry, however, it won’t a mandatory plan for hoteliers and other tourist facilities.

The scheme has so far been welcomed by some hoteliers in various provinces including Yazd and Qazvin announcing their willingness to house patients with mild symptoms.  

In the health system, there are two sections of hoteling and treatment…. so that hotels, if being well equipped in terms of medical needs and instruments, can also house both for patients and health care staff, Yazd hoteliers association’s president Seyyed Amir Nasser Tabatabai said last week. 

The scheme, however, needs prerequisites such as hotels being properly equipped in collaboration with Iran University of Medical Sciences, he added. 

Back in August, the tourism minister said that his ministry is in full coordination with the Ministry of Health for strictly implementing health protocols in travel destinations, hospitably centers, and museums, amongst others, underlining that “people’s health is our priority.”

“Protocols outlined by the [both] Ministry of Health, and National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control are being strictly implemented,” he said, adding “People’s health is first on the list and we will implement what the Ministry of Health decides in full coordination.”

Some experts say such quarantine hotels could help those who are battling the coronavirus but live in crowded conditions and want to isolate, and for health care workers who do not want to infect their families.
 
The hotel space allows patients to recover from the virus and self-isolate appropriately, minimizing the risk of transmission to others without compromising the quality of patient care. 

Head of Iranian Hoteliers Association Jamshid Hamzehzadeh announced in June that the outbreak of the new coronavirus inflicted a loss of 60,000 billion rials (about $1.4 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) on the Iranian hospitality industry in four months. 

The Iranian government has allocated a 750-trillion-rial (about $18 billion) package to help low-income households and small- and medium-sized enterprises affected by the coronavirus.

ABU/AFM