KATHMANDU, May 19: As medical workers working in the Valley face eviction threats from landlords due to the fear of COVID-19 transmission, a hotelier has offered them free lodging facilities in Kathmandu and Patan. "If doctors and nurses need a place to stay, Heranya Lazimpat and Yala are available," reads a Facebook status of Mahendra Man Shakya, the owner of three hotels in Kathmandu and Patan.
Medical doctors and nurses working at TU Teaching Hospitals (TUTH) were denied entry to their rented rooms after a six-year-old girl admitted to the hospital was found to be coronavirus positive. Republica on Monday reported that at least 20 medics had faced the discriminatory behavior from their landlords. After their landlords denied them entry into the houses, these medics were forced to stay at their friends’ and relatives’ places, and at a hostel on TUTH premises.
“They [landlords] have asked for PCR test reports of medical staff. We [medical staff] are already aware of the consequences of the infection. But, the lack of awareness among people has hit medical staff the most,” Dr Anup Upreti had told Republica Online, adding that despite directions from the governments not to evict tenants, landlords have been misbehaving with health workers during this time of global pandemic".
With media reports abound with the discrimination targeting the frontline workers, the owner of Hotel Heranya thought to make a contribution to their safety and comfort. "When I came to know that these frontline health workers are facing discriminated, I thought this was an injustice to their duties," Shakya told Republica Online Tuesday. He said that a total of 23 rooms are available for medical staff at Hotel Heranya Lazimpat and Heranya Yala, in Patan.
These two hotels are at a walking distance from the TUTH Maharajgunj and the Patan Academy of Health Science, Jwalakhel. These hotels will provide free lodging but the cost of food has to be borne by the medical staff themselves.
"This is my small contribution to combat the COVID-19 crisis," said Shakya. He also informed us that lots of queries and calls are pouring in from various hospitals after he posted the free lodging offer on Sunday.
Dr Pawan Raj Chalise, coordinator of Quarantine Logistics at TUTH, hailed the decision of Hotel Heranya. "This is a positive gesture from the hotelier and it would boost the morale of the medical workers," added Dr Chalise. He also informed Republica Online that the hospital is in touch with the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) to manage such facilities".
The public should trust the medical staff, as we are very sensitive about the transmission of the virus," he added, "The local government, HAN and local communities should work together during this crisis."