Neten Dorji | Samdrupjongkhar

With most hotels in Samdrupjongkhar family-owned and family members residing in the same building, hoteliers are making way to turn their hotels into quarantine facilities.

Some families are accommodating with their relatives, while some are returning to their villages.

The owner of Druk Mountain Hotel, Lhedrup Namgyel, said sent his family to Trashiyangtse. “This is the time to serve the nation in whatever ways we could,” he said.

He provided his 31-bedded hotel and other facilities as quarantine facility, but it has not been occupied as of yesterday.

Sixteen tourist-standard hotels in Samdrupjongkhar offer quarantine facilities. The owners are members of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern Bhutan.

The manager of Menjung Hotel, Sherub Jamtsho, said they decided to provide the hotels after they met with home secretary. “We provided free accommodation and charged minimal rates for meals as per the health ministry’s menu.”

The proprietor of Hotel Phuntshok Yangkhor, Karma Tshering, said they did not cater to customers since March 18, but provided the 14 rooms with 22 beds for quarantine. All the rooms in his hotel were occupied by yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, hoteliers said they were affected by the Gyalpoishing-Nganglam highway but are ready to help the government in whatever situation they are.

They have also provided free Wifi in the quarantined rooms.

The owner of TD guesthouse, Karma Tenzin, said Hotel and Restaurant Association in the east would provide service until Covid-19 is contained. “We are not able to do much, but we are contributing in our own capacity.”

He said his staff were sceptical on Covid-19 at first but after he explained, they are now positive and helping. “We committed to continue and give our best to contain Covid-19.”

Meanwhile, with Covid-19 positive cases increasing in India, Samdrupjongkhar residents are vigilant.