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Heroes' Welcome to COVID-19 Doctors, Linen Masks: How a Luxury Hotel Chain is Fighting a Pandemic

The Lalit Hotel has been serving as the quarantine quarters for doctors treating COVID-19 patients in Delhi | Image credit: The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group

The Lalit Hotel has been serving as the quarantine quarters for doctors treating COVID-19 patients in Delhi | Image credit: The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group

The CMD and directors of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group have decided to forego their salaries for the coming six months and donate the money for COVID-19 relief work.

With India’s tally of COVID-19 cases rising to 4,221 today and the death toll at 114, doctors and medical health professionals have emerged as the frontline warriors fighting to contain the pandemic. Ever since the virus surged in India, doctors have been fighting day in out to save lives, even at great personal risk and cost. The risk is indeed high for doctors and medical staff working with COVID-19 patients, with as many as 50 testing positive for the virus themselves across India.

Amid the crisis, the staff at Delhi's Lalit Hotel, which has been housing some of the doctors on COVID-19 duty in quarantine, shared a heartwarming video of doctors receiving a hero's welcome at the hotel upon their return.

The Lalit Hotel has opened up its rooms as quarantine zones for doctors treating COVID-19 patients in Delhi government's Lok Nayak Hospital and GB Pant Hospital. After long hours on duty, the doctors have been provided individual rooms to rest and quarantine in order to keep them from spreading coronavirus in case they contract it from a patient.

To commemorate the hard and selfless work of the doctors, staff at The Lalit on Monday provided a cheerful welcome to doctors returning from duty with claps and salutations while thanking them for their services.

Sharing a video of the incident on Twitter, The Lalit wrote, "Not all superheroes wear capes... Applauding our COVID-19 warriors as they are welcomed to their abode at The LaLiT New Delhi!"

Earlier in March, the Delhi government announced that all doctors and medical professionals on COVID-19 duty in Delhi would be lodged at The Lalit with the cost being borne by the government.

The Lalit, however, has done much more than just provide quarantine quarters to medical professionals. It has been assisting the Delhi government's efforts to assist those in need during the pandemic by donating about 1000 kg of wheat flour to Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB along with 300 kg maida and 700 kg of fresh vegetable grown in the hotel's own private kitchen garden. Other hotels under The Lalit group have been carrying out similar relief activities.

"We are also making masks using spare linen from the hotels and distributing them to NGOs," a spokesperson for the hotel told News18.

With a further objective to contribute as much as possible to help fellow Indians fight the crisis, Chairperson & Managing Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, Dr Jyotsna Suri and Executive Directors Divya Suri, Deeksha Suri and Keshav Suri, have decided to forego their salaries for the coming six months and donate the money for COVID-19 relief work.

“These are extraordinary times," CMD Jyotsna Suri said in a statement. "COVID-19 is one of the toughest crises ever faced by humanity. Everyone must do their bit to fight this pandemic".

Suri further added that the "need of the hour is to stand together and take care of those most affected. Together we can and we will overcome this".

The Keshav Suri Foundation, which has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the transgender and LGBTQIA community in India, has also reached out and provided support to trans persons in India at this time of crisis. The Foundation under Keshav Suri has been working with NGOs such as the Kinnar Maa Trust in Mumbai, Sangama in Bangalore and Saksham Trust in Chandigarh to provide essentials to the marginalised transgender community amid the lockdown.

The Foundation has so far provided over 500 kg of atta, groceries, fruits and vegetables to the LGBTQIA community and it has also initiated a series of talks and sessions on mental health called "Queering Quarantine" to help the LGBTQIA community cope with the pandemic.