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Sri Lanka’s Jetwing Hotels provides premium Coronavirus quarantine at budget rate

UPMARKET QUARANTINE: Sri Lanka’s Jetwing Blue near the island’s main airport has been turned into a fee paying quarantine centre to support a drive to bring back stranded nationals abroad.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s hotels including upmarket Jetwing group have started providing hotels for premium quarantine services at budget rates as foreign returnees come and centres run by the military are filling up with domestic contacts of infected persons.

Jetwing Blue, a hotel near the main international airport in Katunayake has already been turned into a quarantine centre.

The hotel was given over to quarantine at the request of the military and the group was ready to offer more hotels if required Chairman Hiran Cooray said.

The hotel is also providing food.

Sri Lanka’s Citrus hotel has also been offered for quarantine work.

Sri Lanka military chief Shavendra Silva said its own facilities were full with large number of new contacts being taken in.

Colombo’s Mt Lavinia hotel has also been offered for quarantine, he said.

Sri Lanka saw a surge in infections after a Navy based got infected because Sri Lanka was not testing high risk groups. Military personnel were given leave to travel between districts at a time when ordinary citizens were banned from going out of their houses in a strict curfew.

But public health inspectors and military intelligence swiftly rounded up most contacts of infected military personnel and all leave was cancelled. Several thousand contacts have been found.

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General Silva said hotel quarantine at a fee was provided in line with requests from Sri Lankan citizens abroad who had said they were willing to pay for quarantine. The hotels were charging rate which are a quarter or less of their normal rates, he said.

The rooms are charged 7,500 rupees per person double sharing or about 38 dollars a day with food.

The prices are in line with Vietnam which started premium quarantine in March for anyone who did not want free accommodation and food at military run centres.

Resorts under military supervision in the South were offering rates around 9.4 million to 10.1 million dong (400 to 430 US dollars) for a 14-day package which amounts to 28 to 30 dollars a day for Vietnamese returnees.

Before foreign arrivals were stopped to help take pressure off contact tracing, foreign tourists were able to get premium quarantine up to 5-star.

Vietnam is probably the world’s most successful country in battling Coronavirus, which started contact tracing during the Wave I epidemic phase and restricted arrivals from China against the World Health Organization advice at the time.

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PREMIUM QUARANTINE: a Vietnamese foreign returnee being checked at Phương Nam resort at Cần Giờ distrit in Saigon, one of sevel facilities approved by March 21 to run fee paying Coronavirus quarantine services.

Vietnam has gone 17 days without a new domestic infection, though three from abroad including one specialist working for a state petroleum firm who came from UK who tested positive on May 03. Vietnam’s first cases in Wave II also involved UK returnees.

UK has been followed a so-called ‘herd immunity’ strategy initially and the role it played in triggering the global pandemic is not yet clear.

Vietnam’s neighbhour Cambodia is also contact tracing aggressively and has kept down numbers and may be among the best in the world in battling the virus.

Sri Lanka also quarantined arrivals from China in the Wave I phase and there was no domestic community transmission in Wave I.

All countries that followed WHO advice and did not quarantine health arrivals from China, allowed community transmission and re-exported their citizens to contribute to the the global pandemic. (Colombo/May04/2020)

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