Workers at hotel keep an eagle eye on guests

2020-03-25 China Daily Editor:Mo Hong'e

Tian Jun, head of medical affairs at a quarantine hotel in Shanghai, has a heavy workload.

His main job is to observe all the guests' health status, but he also helps deliver food ordered online to rooms if they want an alternative to meals provided by the hotel, collects trash from the rooms and assists with a range of other duties.

Tian works at a 188-room hotel near Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. There are more than 150 guests arriving and departing every day.

Despite his onerous burden, he said he is pleased to help guests during their enforced two-week stay.

Workers at the hotel have suggested that guests do not order food online, to avoid health risks. However, they also said they understand that some expatriates are not used to eating Chinese food three times a day.

On arrival, each guest receives a pack of supplies, including alcohol swabs, detergent, toilet paper, disinfectant, a thermometer and a box of bottled water. Only one person is allowed to a room.

Tian said they instruct each arrival on the proper use of a mercury thermometer, as guests are required to take their temperature twice a day and report the readings to doctors.

"Very often, I have to explain the whole procedure-swinging the thermometer before use, wiping it with an alcohol swab and keeping it under an armpit for three minutes. I also use gestures, as some foreign arrivals cannot understand Chinese."

Yang Huan, a coordinating director at the hotel, said special attention is paid to children and the elderly. Arrivals currently range from a 1-year-old baby from Spain to seniors in their late 70s.

Twelve children from Switzerland, traveling on their own and whose ages range from 10 to 15, arrived at the hotel on Saturday. "We finally decided to arrange for them to stay two to a room, to enable them to take better care of one another," Yang said.

Psychological counseling is provided when necessary. Yang, also deputy director of public hospital affairs at Changning District Health Commission, said a 25-year-old woman from Europe had complained that she could not do sports-a daily routine-in her hotel room.

"We understand that people may feel upset or anxious while being confined to a room for two weeks, especially when some of them are concerned about their health as they have had close contact with confirmed cases. We suggest that they open the curtains to give them a sense of more space and also to enjoy the sunshine," she said.

Lee Wonjin, an international student from South Korea quarantined at the hotel after returning to Shanghai from Pusan, said he is satisfied with the workers there.

"I argued repeatedly that I wanted to stay in a room with my classmate, who flew to Shanghai with me. They patiently explained the rules to us and didn't lose their temper at all," the 18-year-old said.

Lee added that his parents are not worried about him, as Shanghai has taken strict measures to contain the virus.

Tian, the medical affairs head, waves farewell to many guests every day after they complete their quarantine.

But he said he expects to be one of the last to go home. "Even when the hotel is no longer required for quarantine purposes, we will still have to stay here for another 14 days for medical observation," he explained.

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