Healthcare Services Rescued by the Hospitality IndustryBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 04/29/2020 - 14:43
Just days ago, the Mexico City government announced the designation of “COVID-19 Hotels” in the capital to host tourists with symptoms and those already infected. 143 hotels have joined efforts to help during this crisis and decided to offer their services as a way to help healthcare professionals, families of people with COVID-19, air crews and trailer drivers that assist during the contingency. The Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) of Mexico City has posted a list of the hotels available to assist during the crisis, which are all over the city.
An article posted by Forbes says that this initiative was created and encouraged by the hotel sector of the city with hopes to receive help and support from the government. According to the President of the Association of Hotels from Mexico City, the deal can contribute a lot to medical staff that is in the frontline saving lives, while also helping the hotel sector in the city.
Around the world, the help of the hospitality sector has been visible too. This industry has decided to help, despite forecasts predicting that it will be the industry that will struggle the most. In the UK, about a month ago when the country was facing a much foggier situation, hotel chains showed their will to transform their properties into temporary hospitals to support the National Healthcare Service as it could face a crisis of bed space and staff accommodation when COVID-19 spread. A hotel from Best Western Great Britain was effectively transformed into a hospital and has teamed up with medical suppliers to correctly provide medical attention to patients. In Madrid, Ayre Gran Hotel Colón offered its infrastructure to serve as a medical facility to treat patients with mild cases of COVID-19. Cruise ships have also offered to serve as floating hospitals or accommodations for medical staff.
In New York, where tourism and travel have been heavily impacted and the COVID-19 scenario has turned out catastrophic, hospitals have exceeded their capacity and some are still waiting for any action or actor to come and help with the burden. On an interview with CNN, the Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the US Army Corps, said that the army already had plans of converting hotel rooms and college dormitories into care facilities on the most affected areas of the city. In the announcement, he explained that they had a plan to use air-conditioning units to create negative pressure rooms that could suck air outside the room through a vent, minimizing airborne contaminants. Plastic seals would also be placed by the doors, while nursing stations would be set up in the halls.
Mexico is just reaching an overflow of patients in metropolitan areas. While the situation is luckily not critical yet, the good will from other sectors to support healthcare services could be a major relief for many. The country has been active on following the good examples of others that faced COVID-19 before. Having these examples could be a way of creating a prevention plan now that exceeded capacity at hospitals is finally happening.