Wuhan virus patient's hotel room 'thoroughly disinfected', workers who cleaned room quarantined: Shangri-La Group
SINGAPORE: The hotel room at Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa occupied by the first patient to test positive for the Wuhan virus has been "thoroughly disinfected and sanitised", said the Shangri-La Group on Thursday (Jan 23).
Speaking to the media several hours after the Health Ministry announced Singapore's first confirmed case of Wuhan virus, executive vice-president for operations in Southeast Asia and Australasia Josef Dolp said the guest had checked in with his family on Jan 20.
Two days later on Wednesday, the guest told hotel staff he was unwell.
“The rooms the guests stayed in were thoroughly disinfected and sanitised after the guests checked out,” said Mr Dolp, adding that they are now sealed off.
Four of the hotel's employees have also been quarantined.
"The people who were going into the room and cleaning the room, and also those attending to this person, we isolated ... We asked them to stay home and wait for the result," he said.
The workers will now be monitored and taken care of by the Government, Mr Dolp added.
Prior to Monday, the Shangri-La Group had put in place several measures in case of a possible “pandemic” in its hotels, said Mr Dolp.
This included increased cleaning and sanitising frequency of the hotel premises, he said.
“This customer was not a Wuhan virus case until an hour ago, he was a suspicious case. We had to wait until the Government did all the tests. Our hotel did not avoid telling anyone anything because it was not clear if this person had tested positive,” said Mr Dolp.
“For us, the most important thing is that the safety and security of our guests are taken care of. We care deeply about our customers and we want to make sure we follow procedures.”
The hotel will be setting up an information desk for guests. It will also assist guests if they wish to move, said Mr Dolp.
When CNA visited the hotel on Thursday night, hotel employees were positioned at the main entrance donning masks. Members of staff were also seen talking to guests at the hotel lobby.
“Tonight we were just having dinner and we saw it on CNA. We got a shock - we were the last to know. We discovered it through the media,” Mr Kelvin Yu, a hotel guest told CNA.
"We are thinking of checking out early. We want to find out where the person's room was and how close it is to our room," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Singapore announced its first confirmed case of Wuhan virus, which has now sickened hundreds and killed at least 17.
In a media briefing, the Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that the patient is a 66-year-old Chinese man. The Wuhan resident, who arrived in Singapore with his family on Jan 20, flew from Guangzhou via China Southern flight CZ351.
The man is currently in isolation at the Singapore General Hospital and is in stable condition. MOH said he has indicated that he kept within the vicinity of the hotel during his brief stay there.
His son, 37, has been warded as a suspected case. Their other eight travel companions have left Singapore, said MOH, adding that authorities of their destination country have been informed.
The virus, which causes respiratory symptoms similar to a cold or flu, has been linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, the largest city in central China with a population of about 11 million. That market has since been shut down.
The virus has spread to Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, as well as provinces in northeastern, central and southern China.
Across the world, confirmed cases have also been reported in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
For full coverage and latest developments on the Wuhan virus outbreak: https://cna.asia/wuhan-virus