The Capital Empire Hotel in Sandton is expecting a higher number of Covid-19 patients this May
Several weeks back, The Capital Hotels and Apartments made headlines by announcing a partnership with Discovery to turn the The Capital Empire Hotel in Sandton into an isolation/ recovery facility.
In a recent interview with Marc Wachsberger, managing director of The Capital Hotels and Apartments, he shed light on the bold move, which lives up to their legacy of being disruptors in the hospitality industry.
He said: "The Capital Hotels and Apartments responded quickly to calls from the Minister of Health to assist in the nationwide drive to help South Africans affected by Covid-19 by implementing the necessary steps to dedicate The Capital Empire Hotel in Sandton as an isolation facility for people who are in recovery.
"Our other big driver behind this initiative was to help and protect our staff. The hospitality industry has mostly shut down due to the lockdown conditions imposed by government, making it impossible for many to earn a living. Offering our hotels as isolation facilities and ‘get well hotels’ at discounted rates means that we can support national efforts to beat Covid-19, while making sure that our people can still earn a living – safely."
On the subject of safety, which is foremost on everyone's mind, Wachsberger reassured: "Hotel employees have full clinical support and have been specifically trained by medical personnel on global best practice for Covid-19. All staff have been trained to not only protect themselves and guests, following guidelines from the World Health Organisation, European and US Centres for Disease Control and SA's National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). The hotel provides all necessary personal protection equipment and sanitisation materials to ensure optimal safety for staff and guests."
When asked about the number of rooms available at the transformed recovery centre and the current occupation figures, he confirmed: "There are 100 rooms available at The Capital Empire over three floors with the fourth floor being occupied by staff. We’re gearing up for an expected influx from May onwards and foresee the hotel will be fully occupied around this time."
As for plans to rollout with a simlar plan with their accommodations in other regions, the managing director confirmed: "Yes, in our group we have 11 hotels nationally but not all of them are available for this pilot project. We have written the ‘blueprint’ for this so that we can easily roll it out to other hotels if need be. At the moment, only The Capital Empire is available for Covid-positive guests.
He added: "Before the lockdown we made some of our other hotels available for anyone that was looking for a ‘sanitised sanctuary’, which is a safe place to stay (and work) if their household was not ideal for this. They have all the same safety and hygiene protocols in place, except any nurses or PPE gear on site. They are operationally ready to be switched over to a Covid-19 recovery hotel (The Get Well Hotel)."
As for the duration this establishment will be operating as a recovery centre, Wachsberger stated: "We will keep these facilities open for as long as there’s demand for them, and in line with Government’s guidelines on the support that is required for South Africa to overcome the Covid-19 crisis.