Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) restricted visits to tourism sites to contain the possible spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for the hotels.
Briefing mediapersons after a meeting with the hotel owners, BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said that they have been asked to take necessary steps to avoid large gatherings and not allow any events.
“Besides, the hotel managers have been asked to give details about their foreign guests, their mobile numbers and travel history. If any customer staying in the hotel has the symptoms of cough, cold and fever, they should immediately inform the BMC,” he added.
Stating that the BMC has formed three special squads for three zones in the city to oversee the implementation of the health guidelines, Chaudhary said there will be no advance or fresh booking of the Kalyan Mandaps for any social functions till March 31.
“To intensify the drive against the coronavirus, the BMC has set up the emergency monitoring cell which will start functioning round-the-clock from Monday,” he added.
On the other hand, the Tourism Department has asked the hospitality sector to ensure that foreign tourists are not “unnecessarily harassed” in the name of precautionary measures in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
“These (denial of entry) include foreign tourists who have had no exposure to the virus…. This is causing unnecessary panic and harassment to tourists. It is advised not to stop entry of such tourists and to allow them to check in to hotels,” director and additional secretary, Tourism Department, S R Jadhav said in a letter to various hotel associations.