The Novel Coronavirus is an unprecedented phenomenon for all of us globally. In the wake of COVID-19 impacting communities in so many ways, we would like to announce that we are working closely with Apollo Hospitals to develop and support accommodation requirements of suspected Covid19 patients requiring quarantine/self-isolation.
This is part of Project Stay I (Stay isolated) wherein Apollo hospitals are partnering with select hotel brands to create isolation rooms in hotels with light medical supervision for quarantine and creating a barrier before people come into the hospitals. The objective is to create isolation and quarantine facilities away from the main hospitals in cities across the country and reduce the burden on hospitals providing acute care.
As part of this partnership, we at OYO will be offering sanitised beds and facilities in certain Covid19 exclusive hotels that have been identified within the proximity of Apollo Hospitals in 6 cities namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata for the purposes of self-quarantine and isolation for suspected Covid19 patients that require medical observation and supervision. Starting with hotels in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Delhi is the next city that we will be assisting Apollo Hospitals in.
As more and more private hospitals and institutions join the fight against coronavirus in India, Apollo Hospitals and OYO are helping develop safe, hygienic quarantine facilities that act as necessary extensions of hospitals and support the requirements of the health ministry and medical fraternity at this time. The pricing of this has been developed in consultation with Apollo Hospitals so that the pay-per-use facilities are both affordable and accessible while assuring the requisite medical care. SBI & HUL are also directing their CSR efforts to support 50% stays in category 1 rooms i.e. OYO for those patients that cannot afford it. This includes the cost of lodging, medical care, WIFI. The rooms will be booked through Apollo Hospitals and will not be available for booking through the OYO app so as to ensure pre-booking medical consultation.
Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO said, “We want to work with state governments and private institutions to problem solve and assist in the fight against COVID-19. Our partnership with Apollo Hospitals has been developed to ensure we utilise capacity where possible to create highly sanitised pay per use quarantine facilities under the guidance and supervision of medical professionals. This is an unprecedented situation which requires all of us to find new ways to work together and rise to the occasion. We are thankful for the support of SBI, HUL, our asset owners and frontline teams that are making this possible”
We are focusing on a two-pronged strategy to minimise the possibility of infection and maximise social distancing and hygiene. Certain hotels are being identified to partner with hospitals for setting up safe, pay per use quarantine facilities. Certain others are focused on providing safe shelter to local and foreign tourists and travellers who are stranded in cities owing to the lockdown.
The government of India on March 24, released the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines for the 21 days nationwide lockdown, which recognises under point 7, that while hospitality services will be suspended, the following exceptions will be made:
- Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, sea and aircrew.
- Establishments used/earmarked for quarantine facilities
Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “Many families in India have 4-5 members and most of them share the same facilities and toilets, this fails the purpose of self-isolation if one the family members is at high risk of COVID-19 and is advised to do so. Project Stay I will not only reduce the load on the healthcare system by creating clean, comfortable isolation and quarantine facilities for individuals who have no need for active medical intervention but also provide a solution to such families. The model is envisaged to have a combination of self-paying and CSR funded customers. The purpose of partnering with multiple facility brands is to ensure that all socio-economic segments of society have an equal opportunity to avail these services. A project of this magnitude needs several like-minded partners across the supply chain to come on board and we are thankful to our partners OYO Hotels & Homes, HUL, and SBI and others for their support which has made this initiative possible. Owing to SBI & HUL’s generosity, 50% of category 1 rooms (OYO) would be made available for free of cost to those who cannot afford.”
We sprung into action by making an earnest outreach to relevant state governments as well as authorities to understand how some of our properties can be leveraged for pay per use quarantine facilities. We have also reached out to corporates and are keen to support the lodging requirements of hospital staff, air and sea crew etc who are at the frontline of India’s fight against coronavirus through a combination of OYO hotels or OYO LIFE offerings. (OYO LIFE- is OYO’s managed long term rental housing product)
Further, we also set up a dedicated helpline to take in the requests (firstname.lastname@example.org) from relevant organisations and determine how best to support them.
Commenting on the development, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO said, “To continue the fight against Coronavirus, OYO stands committed to support people stranded in other cities, foreigners stranded here, people out of their hometowns, paying guests with no accommodation, MNC employees in another city & everyone in need. A 21 Day lockdown is the right decision in the interest of greater good. OYO will do its best to keep its doors open for all those who need these during these testing times.”
Recently, in the United States, we offered free stays to medical first responders who have been helping Americans fight against covid19. Ivanka Trump & the US Vice President, Mike Pence too tweeted to generate awareness. Ritesh added, “Medical first responders are working tirelessly for us. In these tough times, OYO along with our hotel partners & OYOpreneurs want to do the right thing. We stand #TogetherApart to assist our frontliners against coronavirus.”
We at OYO want to reiterate that each one of you is at the heart of what we do. Your safety and well being are of prime importance to us. As we all navigate these uncharted waters, we would like to thank you all for your continuous support and placing your trust and confidence in us.
We will all get through this, together.