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Luxury Hotel In Chennai Turns Into Covid Cluster, 85 Test Positive

Chennai: The first case was reported after a chef was found to be infected last month (Representational)

Chennai:

About 85 people, including staff members, at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai have tested positive for COVID-19 since December 15 last year, a senior official said on Saturday.

Of the total of 609 samples collected so far, 85 were found to be positive for the virus.

The Greater Chennai Corporation has been instructed to carry out saturation testing of all the guests at the hotel, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.

ITC Grand Chola, in a release, said all events at the property had been conducted in adherence to the norms mandated by the authorities. Only 50 per cent capacity of the hall was being used to ensure maximum social distancing and safety, it added.

The first case was reported after a chef tested positive for the infection on December 15.

As many as 16 and 13 cases were reported on December 31, 2020, and January 1, 2021.

“Of the total of 609 samples collected till now from the hotel and in and around the residences of the staff, 85 have so far been found to be positive. They all displayed mild symptoms and were sent home after treatment,” Mr Radhakrishnan said.

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The hotel said all associates were regularly tested and monitored, “which is an ongoing process and part of our hygiene protocol.”

“Extreme care and diligence continue to be followed at all touch points and all necessary information has been shared with the authorities,” it said.

Mr Radhakrishnan said hotels in the city are periodically screened and sensitised.

“The Chennai Corporation was asked to conduct a saturation test for all the residents of the hotel,” he told reporters.

The hotel claimed that “while the GCC has classified some associates as asymptomatic and mild, the majority of our associates are working from home and have been absent from the property and so have no contact with other associates and guests.”

The civic staff under Joint Commissioner of Health, GCC, S Dhivyadarshini, conducted fever camps and all employees and guests were advised to undergo testing.

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