Indonesia commits 100 billion rupiah to hotel quarantine programme

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MOTACE), Ministry of Health, and the Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA) are working together to qualify a list of three-star accommodation across the country to house Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms as well as medical personnel.

The programme will be backed by a budget of 100 billion rupiah (US$6.7 million), revealed MOTACE minister Wishnutama Kusubandio, who added that Jakarta and Bali will see the first implementation, followed by North Sumatra, West Java and South Kalimantan.

Hotels in Jakarta (pictured) and Bali will be selected to be part of a government quarantine facility programme

Meals, laundry and support from medical personnel will be provided throughout the 14-day isolation programme, with MOTACE stepping in to provide medical staff to ensure compliance by hotels and residing patients.

To qualify for the programme, hotels must have suitable facilities and be able to comply with the requirements and protocols established by the Ministry of Health. The hotels are also not allowed to accept other guests during the programme.

To date, hotel brands Yello Hotels, Ibis, POP! Hotels, Mercure and Novotel in Jakarta and the surrounding areas are deemed to be ready, so are Ibis Kuta Bali and Novotel Banjarmasin Airport in South Kalimantan, according to Wishnutama.

Earlier this week, Terawan Agus Putranto, minister of health said the government would appoint 10 to 15 hotels of two- and three-star categories in Jakarta alone, providing 1,500 to 3,000 rooms in anticipation of hospital room shortage as the number of local infections continue to climb.

Haryadi Sukamdani, IHRA chairman said the move to use hotels for quarantine is not new, as many hotels have previously welcomed medical personnel and members of the public desiring self-isolation.

The fact that no new Covid-19 clusters were found in those hotels provided evidence that it was safe to transform hotels into quarantine centres, thanks to strict implementation of health protocols, Haryadi said.

Hotel groups with such experience include Aryaduta Hotels and Artotel Group, both of which partnered with medical institutions to provide necessary care.

The five-star Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel in Jakarta offers a self-isolation package, with prices ranging from 650,000 rupiah (US$44) to 900,000 rupiah per night for different room types. Besides laundry service and three meals a day, the guests can request for a rapid swab test. Medical attention is provided by doctors from Sahid Sahirman Medical Centre and Pelni Hospital.

Vivi Herlambang, director of business development, sales and marketing with Sahid Hotel & Resorts, told TTG Asia that the self-isolation package idea was birthed when the hotel was appointed by the government to accommodate medical staff during the country’s first large-scale social restriction a few months ago.

Medical personnel from Pelni Hospital had then asked if some patients could be accommodated at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel while they waited for the results of their swab tests. The hotel agreed, and developed that capability further.

To ensure the safety of regular hotel guests, only patients with mild symptoms are allowed and both sets of customers are clearly separated.

Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients at the hotel are also under strict surveillance to prevent them from leaving their room.

IHRA Haryadi said the government’s latest decision to appoint specific quarantine hotels would not upset ongoing self-isolation programmes developed by hotels. Instead, people now have a wider choice of properties they can go to for quarantine.

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