Twenty staff members at the Leela Palace Hotel in Chennai have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Hindu reported on Monday. The Greater Chennai Corporation officials have designated the luxury hotel as a cluster of coronavirus cases and asked it to cancel all banquets for a few days.
“Twenty persons have tested positive for Covid-19 in the hotel,” a corporation official told The Hindu. “We tested 232 persons in the hotel yesterday...we tested 86 persons in the same hotel today.”
So far, 114 of 1,623 employees of star category hotels in the city have tested positive, while 11 out of 2,769 employees of non-star hotels have found to be infected, The Hindu reported. Close to 3% of all hotel employees in the city have tested positive for the virus, while reports for 491 of them are still awaited, according to NDTV.
“Hotels in Chennai are being periodically screened and sensitised, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, according to NDTV. “The Chennai Corporation was asked to conduct a saturation test for all the residents of the hotel.”
The outbreak in Leela Palace is the third cluster that has been reported in less than a month in Chennai. On Saturday, officials had said that 85 people, including staff members of ITC Grand Chola, another luxury hotel in the city, were found to be coronavirus positive since December 15. Earlier in December, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras was temporarily shut down after about 71 people, including 66 students, tested positive.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu reported 867 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, while the active cases in the state stood at 8,127, according to The News Minute. Ten people died of the virus on Sunday, taking the toll up to 12,156.