Makkah hotels could be used as isolation units in virus fight

Monday, March 23, 2020

JEDDAH: Seven high-end hotels have been offered to Saudi health authorities for possible use as isolation areas for people infected by the novel coronavirus.

The Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), which represents business owners and investors in the city, announced the move as part of a drive to help the Kingdom’s fight against the pandemic.

MCCI Chairman Hisham bin Mohammed Kaaki said that the chamber has also placed its Al-Sabeen Building at the disposal of health authorities.

As part of the initiative, the MCCI is providing services and discounts for security staff and health workers in Makkah, in cooperation with commercial stores, institutions and companies, in recognition of their efforts during the crisis.

The chamber has prepared a survey for members to identify the challenges the private sector is facing as a result of the pandemic.

Ismat bin Abdul Karim Ma’atouq, MCCI designated secretary-general, said that the survey will highlight the needs of the private sector, as well as the negative effects of coronavirus precautionary measures, so that authorities can develop effective solutions.

The chamber is leading a movement encouraging the business sector and Saudi people to follow the advice of health authorities to curb the outbreak. This includes staying at home, avoiding gatherings and following hygiene protocols, Ma’atouq said.

MCCI staff are working online around the clock to provide services for the business sector and beneficiaries.

Ma’atouq said that the MCCI has been contributing socially as well as raising awareness to combat the pandemic.

He praised business people who responded to the emergency appeal by agreeing to provide discounts for security staff and health workers in Makkah.