Businessmen in Erbil and Duhok have donated 18 hotels and motels to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to boost quarantine capacity for thousands of people thought to be infected with coronavirus.
“Seven hotels in Erbil have been donated by their owners through the ministry of municipality and tourism,” Nadir Rostayi, head of the Kurdistan Region’s tourism board, told Rudaw on Wednesday.
“Among them, Mariana, My Flower, and Darin hotels are offering full service and use their own employees to serve the quarantined people,” he added.
The KRG had already hired Darin Hotel to host quarantined people, but the hotel management “dissolved the contract” and decided to offer its services for free, according to Rostayi.
Waysi Ibrahim, manager of Darin Hotel, told Rudaw English they scrapped the contact just a day after signing on March 25, insisting they would provide services free of charge.
“This is a national cause and we want to ease the burden on the government,” Ibrahim said.
Eleven hotels and motels have been donated in Duhok province.
There are currently around 625 hotels and 370 motels operating in the Kurdistan Region, most of them located in the capital Erbil, according to the General Tourism Board.
Authorities have quarantined around 5,910 people across 36 areas since the outbreak began, according to government figures. Some 1,538 remain in quarantine.