After ITC Chola, Leela Palace in Chennai becomes Covid-19 hotspot; 20 staffers test positive

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Updated: Jan 04, 2021 5:10 PM

The civil authorities said that 4,392 employees of the hotels in Chennai took Covid-19 tests and the results of 491 are awaited.

itc chola, leela palace chennai, covid-19 hotspots, covid 19 containment zones, covid cases in tamil nadu, star hotel staff tests positive for covidTwenty staff members at Leela Palance, Chennai tested Covid-19 positive. (Source: Leela Palace website)

Luxury hotels in Chennai are becoming Covid-19 clusters. Fresh coronavirus case count in the metro has dropped below 900 mark on Sunday, for four days in a row no UK returnees to Tamil Nadu tested positive and yet two luxury hotels have become hotspots of Covid-19 infections. After the ITC Chola, several staff members at Leela Palace tested positive for Covid-19.

A total of 125 hotel employees including 114 from luxury hotels tested positive for Covid-19. At Leela Palace, RT-PCR reports of 20 staffs turned positive. Following the outbreak, the greater Chennai corporation officials said they have instructed all the hotels whose staff turned positive for Covid-19 to cancel scheduled events.

Though the hotel officials said they are following all standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the state, in addition to their own hygiene protocol, since they opened doors to the tourist after lockdown, the Tamil Nadu health authorities ordered a saturation test covering all members of the establishment and across hotels in the city.

The civil authorities said that 4,392 employees of the hotels in Chennai took Covid-19 tests and the results of 491 are awaited.

On Saturday, Jan 02, 85 people from ITC Grand Chola luxury hotel tested positive for Covid-19 that included staff members. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan informed one of the staff members had tested positive for the virus on December 15. Screening report by GCC finds 11 out of 2,769 hotel staff not included in the star category have also tested positive for Covid-19.

After the Koyembedu Wholesale Market and IIT Madras, this is another instance where luxury hotels are turning Covid-19 clusters. Over 100 students got Covid-19 at IIT Madras in mid-December 2020 and in a week’s time the entire campus had to be put under lockdown all over again.

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