Coronavirus: Low patronage hits Chinese restaurants, hotels in Lagos
The recent outbreak of the coronavirus, which has led to the untimely deaths of a number of Chinese and foreign nationals, in the past few weeks has hit the hospitality business in Lagos, Nigeria below the belt, an investigation has revealed.
Media reports around the world revealed that the death toll in China had risen to 1,113 deaths and 44,653 infections in the first week of the outbreak.
Hubei, where the virus originated, was the hardest hit, forcing other countries to immediately evacuate their citizens from China.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the world the virus posed a “serious threat” and could have “more powerful consequences than any terrorist act.”
Catholic Pope Francis also called for “prayer for our Chinese brothers and sisters who are suffering from such a cruel disease,” the pope said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
Speaking on Wednesday, Okanlawon Folarin, Sunrise Chinese Restaurant located on Aromire, Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, said that in the first week of the virus outbreak, his restaurant recorded a 30 percent drop in sales “
His words: “We quickly contacted a fumigation expert who arrived at the restaurant premises with an alcohol-based fumigation and ensured that all doors, tables and chairs were fumigated.”
Okanlawon is also online and can be found at: www.okanstalk.comor okansatalkofficial on YouTube.
According to him, we then bought disinfectants and issued an order that Chinese nationals be encouraged to send their drivers to buy food because we were not sure whether these Chinese were living in Lagos or just arriving in the state.
He further explained that even some Nigerians and nationals of other countries stopped patronizing their restaurant in the first two weeks of the outbreak and started coming in droves only when the Federal Government and Lagos State Government started releasing jingles and statements about the virus .
Even O-PAY staff were also temporarily barred from coming to buy food and other items at the restaurant even though we sold N15,000 or less during the weeks the outbreak was reported.
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Adeoti Bisola, Duty Manager of Airport Hotel, Ikeja said Chinese nationals have not been coming to the hotel for some time.
She also revealed that two weeks before the outbreak, the entire hotel was fumigated, but complained that after the outbreak, patronage was low due to panic and fear.
The manager commended the management of the Nigerian Tribune for always supplying the hotel with copies of its newspapers.
A female manager of Jabita Intercontinental Hotel Limited, Ikeja, Lagos, who spoke off the record, also lamented the poor patronage and panic among lodgers and others.
A manager at a Chinese restaurant located on Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA, said that while the outbreak of the virus has not in any way affected the payment of staff salaries for now, if it persists, some of the staff may be sacked and salaries paid to installments.
Bassey Okon, a supervisor at a Chinese restaurant located along Adeola Adeku in Victoria Island; Lagos said by phone that Chinese restaurants and hotels are at the receiving end of the raging virus.
These business concerns must bear the current problems, create standards and be vigilant so they are not caught off guard as the virus wreaks havoc, he said.
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