It is factually established that a host of pathogens, including COVID 19, can be spread through hotel and hospital bedding and pillows. Why therefore are governments still ordering travellers to quarantine in hotels before they have fixed the contagion problems in those very hotels?
A person can arrive at an airport and be ordered into quarantine at a location demanded by the government. The government chosen and appointed hotels and boarding houses are all using unsterilized bedding and pillows. So, if a few days later the quarantine client is diagnosed with COVID 19, how can they be sure they did not become infected from the bedding and pillows? Laundering does not sterilize; pathogens can survive washing. It is not just COVID, every known bacteria and virus can survive in a pillow sometimes for several days. Today one of the biggest worries in the Caribbean is the Rhinovirus, which is yet another virus which can be transmitted though unsterilized pillows.
Hotels should have a means of sterilizing bedding, not just laundering, sterilizing, they are two different things. If the do not have a means of sterilization, they should burn bedding and replace with new between every change of guest. That is what most first world hospitals are doing, burning the bedding that cannot be sterilized.
The simple answer is that hotels currently have no possible means of sterilizing bedding and pillows. So, if person is diagnosed with the virus during quarantine, are they able to sue the hotel, and ultimately the government who sent them there compulsorily?
You can be sure if they are an American with an American health insurance, yes, they can, and yes, they will.
But the travelling public until now were unaware of the possible consequences of sleeping in an unsterilized bed, with unsterilized pillows.
That period of the fully uninformed traveller is about to end. Most of the Caribbean Governments are aware, they have been previously informed.
We warned the Minister of Health of several countries including Grenada, Barbados and SVG of the dangers from current quarantine methods, they chose to ignore us and have never replied to three communiques from us.
When reading this hoteliers and governments are now further informed. Both hoteliers and governments owe a duty of care to the quarantine client. It is their responsibility to ensure the bedding and pillows are sterilized between every client. Pillows carry more bacteria and viruses than the toilet seat, blankets, bedspreads, and the mattress saver too. If they cannot be sterilized to 99.999%, burn them.
We have written this informative note since the governments mentioned chose to ignore us.
Caribbean tourism can make no recovery until they undertake to sterilize hotel bedding, not just for quarantines but for all hotel clients. Because we will keep raising this matter through social media.
William H HarrissRed Diamond Hotel AwardsLondon
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