Stale food, dirty toilets: paid hotel quarantine in Bangalore becomes hellish for returnees
BENGALURU: Insects in food, bedbugs, dirty toilets and no TV or WiFi signal: these are some of the horrible conditions that many returnees claim to be forced to endure in two and three star hotels, despite having collected exorbitant amounts for institutions. .
Pregnant women, children, the elderly and the sick, who are allowed home quarantine under a government order on Thursday, have not yet been sent back.
IT professional Swathy (name changed), who is six months pregnant and staying at a Koramangala hotel with her husband, was surprised to find a roach at her lunch on Friday. The couple is spending Rs 2,450 per day and are not allowed to leave the room. Complaining that they were served, the 30-year-old said: “I was sick to see him. My husband and I told hotel authorities and BBMP health officials, but no one bothers. They arrived in Bangalore from Kerala on Tuesday night after a tough 10-hour test.
According to the revised government order, pregnant women are exempt from institutional quarantine and can be isolated at home if they are asymptomatic. But the change in the rules has not yet been implemented, as some like Swathy are at the mercy of a BBMP doctor, who had not arrived at the hotel after 48 hours of being alerted to his gestational situation.
Meanwhile, a tweet by state authorities criticizing people who oppose the institutional quarantine has angered netizens. The tweet from the official address of the Karnataka health department said: “Yes, you have to spend if you choose the hotel. To treat a Covid-19 patient, the government is spending in lakhs (sic).
The railway and BBMP authorities allegedly told the train passengers that the hotel was quarantined for only two days and that asymptomatic people could go home on the third day. Some passengers who protested at the KSR City train station on Thursday were transferred by bus to a paid hotel.
“They told us that we would be in quarantine for only two days and forced us to leave the platform. It was only when I was taken to a hotel near the Kanteerava stadium and the receptionist told me that I had to pay 14 days, I realized that we had been cheated, ”said Manoj Singh, executive of the Nippon India mutual fund, which took the train from Delhi. . Singh said he was forced to spend the night in a room without air conditioning despite paying Rs 1,900 in advance.
Many people who arrived by train and stayed at different facilities said that the paid hotel quarantine was a revelation to them, as they were not provided with information prior to the time of booking or boarding.
Some who stayed in two and three star hotels have complained about dirty toilets and no TV/Internet access despite paying the full amount. “The toilets are dirty, the delivery of meals is irregular and there is no television or WiFi, but I was forced to pay 1,400 rupees per day. No official has come to verify these conditions, ”said Krishna (name changed), a Wells Fargo staff member, Kadubeesanahalli, who is quarantined at a Majestic hotel after arriving from Hyderabad on Thursday.
On Thursday, BMTC operated 30 buses from the KSR City train station to institutional quarantine facilities such as hotels and community centers. However, many passengers, including children, were charged Rs.50 per head for facilities within the city and Rs.100 for those outside. Passengers who chose hotels in Majestic, less than 200 meters from the railway station, were forced to pay Rs.50 per ticket.
BMTC officials said that each bus will carry only 30 passengers to ensure social distancing and will be empty on the return trip. “Many buses come from distant warehouses and the earnings per bus amount to only 1,250 rupees. We are operating them under contract, ”said a BMTC official.