Hyderabad: Corona virus has had a heavy impact on the economy. After the second positive case was detected in Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced that all pubs and restaurants will remain shut till 21 March. The Hyderabad hoteliers are worried that they will suffer heavy losses due to the lockdown.

President of Hyderabad Hostel Association Ashok Reddy Kancharla told NewsMeter, “The decision to close down bars will affect the restaurants, too. Tourism spots like museums, zoos, parks, and theatres have also been closed due to which hotel and lodge bookings will be hit. The hotel business is already down for the past four days. The revenue has dropped by 30 to 50 per cent. We are not sure how much impact this shutdown will have on our business.”

The joint secretary of Telangana State Hotel’s Association, Srinivas Sampath Tummala, said, “Every year in March, the business is a bit dull due to exams so we cannot really figure out if it is the Corona virus scare or the usual exams affecting the hotel industry.” He added, “We don’t mind closing down for 10 or 20 days as per the government orders because it is for public health." However, he worries that if this shutdown continues for more than a month it will affect their business. “As an establishment, we have monthly overheads like bank loans which we cannot avoid and if the shutdown continues it will be difficult for us to pay for such expenses. The government should give us temporary relief from bank loans and taxes.”

The association has asked all hotels affiliated under it to maintain hygiene and provide customers with sanitisers.

Bilal Os Many, who runs a popular restaurant in Hyderabad, said that people now prefer seafood rather than chicken. “People are not consuming chicken because they fear that Corona virus spreads through the chicken. This has led to an increase in prices of mutton. But the profits are less in chicken dishes when compared to mutton dishes. But since more customers are opting for seafood, we are now making a profit on that.”

He said that after the Corona virus outbreak the restaurant has started taking precautions as customer’s health is important. “Hotels stock mutton for three to four days. But after the outbreak of the virus, we are throwing leftover mutton on the same day," he said, adding that for at least two or three months hotels should not think of profit and maintain high quality and hygiene while cooking and serving food.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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