Army Commander commends Hemas’ Dolphin Hotel for exceptional services to the nation during COVID-19
Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, the head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), commended Hemas Holdings PLC’s Club Hotel Dolphin for its role in combating COVID-19 in Sri Lanka by functioning as a quarantine centre from 1st April to 28th May 2020, at a meeting with company representatives at his office. The meeting was convened by the Army Commander to extend his heartfelt and deep sense of gratitude to the Hemas Group and the Dolphin Hotel which bore all operating and staff expenditure amounting to Rs 6.3 million, incurred during this period.
In his letter of appreciation to the Hotel in recognition of the valuable assistance extended to the NOCPCO at a critical moment for the nation, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said, “Your generosity in reserving Club Dolphin Hotel to be used as a Quarantine Centre to house the officials of Armed Forces and Ministry of Health from 01 April 2020 was a great source of encouragement for the members of our frontline workforce in prevention of COVID-19 to undergo quarantine process with smiling comforts.”
A total of 229 persons were periodically stationed at the Hotel under the supervision of the Army before it was handed over to the management on 28 May 2020.
“In the crucial early days of the pandemic when frontline healthcare workers and armed forces personnel were exposed to the Coronavirus in the line of duty, we immediately saw that we could contribute to the national cause by opening our doors as a quarantine centre. Even though it impacted our business, we at Club Hotel Dolphin were the only hotel property in the country to do so. Our staff joined in on this effort wholeheartedly and worked together with the Army to make the stay of the over 200 occupants as pleasant as possible under the circumstances,” said Abbas Esufally, Director – Hemas Holdings and Chairman – Serendib Hotels.
As a truly local conglomerate, Hemas Holdings PLC continues to focus on the health and well-being of the nation in every possible manner and will continue to support the country combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the two months as a Quarantine Centre for frontline personnel, day to day operations including kitchen, maintenance and utility services of the Hotel continued to be carried out by the hotel’s staff, with over 60 employees working daily, maintaining the facilities and preparing meals according to menus planned and provided for by the Armed forces.
Speaking on the Hotel’s next course of action, Shantha Kurumbalapitiya, Managing Director, Serendib Hotels, added, “It is now time for us to focus on ensuring the continued livelihoods of our 280 staff members who gave their time and energy over the past few months. Hence, we have accepted the invitation of the government to continue as a paid Quarantine Centre for Sri Lankan returnees from abroad undergoing obligatory quarantining under the supervision of the COVID-19 task force.”
Representatives from Hemas Holdings PLC, Serendib Hotels and Club Hotel Dolphin met Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at his office, where he awarded symbolic mementos and a commendation letter for the exceptional generosity displayed towards the well-being of the nation at a most critical moment.
From Left to Right:
Major General Dushan Rajaguru (retd), Security Consultant – Hemas Holdings, Mrs Shiromi Masakorala, General Manager – Group Sustainability & Corporate Communications, Hemas Holdings, Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, the Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Mr Suresh Athukorala – General Manager, Club Hotel Dolphin, Mr Steven Enderby – Group CEO, Hemas Holdings, Mr Abbas Esufally – Group Director, Hemas Holdings & Chairman – Serendib Hotels, Mr Shantha Kurumbalapitiya – Managing Director – Serendib Hotels and Mr Kushan Pathiraja, Director – Club Hotel Dolphin.