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The Capital Hotels and Apartments partners with Discovery in creating access to accommodation and care for COVID-19 self – isolation
03 June 2020

The Capital Hotels and Apartments, in partnership with Discovery Health, has launched a COVID-19 isolation and recovery facility at The Capital Empire in Sandton.


The partnership comes after both companies recognised the need to create safe spaces for people exposed to or infected with COVID-19 to isolate and recover from the virus, and to support the country’s efforts to flatten the curve during the national lockdown period.


Marc Wachsberger, managing director of The Capital Hotels and Apartments says: “Like many in South Africa, we want to contribute positively to national efforts to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In response to calls from the Minister of Health to assist in the nationwide drive to help South Africans affected by COVID-19, we have implemented the necessary steps to dedicate The Capital Empire Hotel in Sandton as an isolation recovery facility for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.”


The medically controlled facility with access to 24-hour nursing care is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and needs to be in isolation while they recover. To enable broad access to these facilities The Capital Hotels and Apartments has significantly reduced their rates. The Capital intends to avail additional facilities in other major South African cities.


“We’ve prepared and have been running The Capital Empire Hotel in Sandton as a self- isolation facility with great success. Most of our hotels across the country have been implementing these steps to give the option of staying in a well-sanitised space that ensures other household members are safe from contracting COVID-19,” adds Wachsberger.


Commenting on this initiative, Discovery Health CEO, Ryan Noach said: “We support this initiative by The Capital Hotels and Apartments. Evidence emerging from China demonstrated that COVID-19 spread occurred in household clusters, and consequently an isolation facility has a strong clinical basis to prevent spread from a known infected individual throughout a household. With an urgent need for all South Africans to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, it aligns with our purpose to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. It’s crucial to provide the right environment for recovery, which includes supportive medical care and extensive social distancing and sanitisation measures to limit contact and spread.”


Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) members seeking self-isolation and care can access this facility at a reduced rate. “By supporting this initiative, we hope to relieve some of the pressure on our healthcare system and, equally important, on family members who are faced with the responsibility of staying safe while caring for someone. The creation of safe spaces for isolation, with 24/7 nursing oversight from Discovery healthcare services, is a positive step in providing South Africans with access to alternative care, and to allow safe and full recovery” adds Noach.


More information about how it will work:


• Starting from R1 350 per night for a standard hotel room, the rates include three meals per day. Guests are encouraged to stay for between 12 and 14 days to allow for full recovery before they return home.
• From R2 000 per night, guest can stay in a modern spacious apartment with a fully fitted kitchen (including laundry facilities).
• All rooms include the hotels standards of complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and Smart TV’s.
• Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) will contribute R400 towards the daily rate during the period of isolation (this is specifically for DHMS members who have COVID-19, and who do not require in-hospital care).
• To oversee recovery, Discovery Healthcare Services will make 24-hour nursing supervision available as part of the service. In addition, Discovery Healthcare Services has made arrangements for referral and if needed, ambulance transportation of anyone who needs escalated medical care.
• All food is inspected to ensure suppliers are following the WHO food preparation protocols and is prepared under strict hygiene standards. Food will be delivered at the room door, with strict isolation protocols.
• All Capital staff have been trained on global best practice protocols for sanitisation and care of both themselves, their family and guests, following the guidelines of the WHO, European and US Centres for Disease Control and the South African Institute for Communicable Diseases. Additionally, all staff will use the necessary personal protective equipment to ensure their safety.
• Daily room servicing to ensure a hygienic environment includes the disinfection of high touch points, including TV remotes, door handles and toilet flush handles as well as front desk pens and room keys. Commercial grade cleaning and disinfectant materials are used in all aspects of the hotel.
• All staff will be screened for any symptoms and signs of COVID-19, including regular body temperature monitoring. Any staff member involved in the food supply chain has their temperature check performed hourly. “The Capital Hotels is a proudly home-grown South African hotel group, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to help the country in this time of need. We are also happy to be partnering with another industry disruptor like ourselves to ensure we can keep our hotels running and thereby securing hundreds of jobs for our hotel staff,” Wachsberger concludes.

Profile: Marc Wachsberger, MD of The Capital Hotels and Apartments


Joburg-born Marc Wachsberger was a Chartered Financial Analyst working in mergers and acquisitions when he noticed a disconnect in the local property market: hotel rooms were overpriced and residential apartment leases were cheap. What’s more, hotels were wasting money on things that business travellers didn’t care about, but not offering the things that they really wanted.


Inspired by these blatant market inefficiencies, Wachsberger started The Capital Hotels and Apartments in 2008 by leasing apartments, furnishing them to a high standard and sub-letting them on a per-night basis to compete with the hotel sector. He did everything himself at first, from negotiating leases to being the porter – giving him hands-on experience at every level that still stands him in good stead.


By introducing cost-effective frills-free apartment-style and regular hotel-format accommodation tailored to suit business and family travel needs, Wachsberger has offered the local market – and incoming travellers from abroad a refreshing alternative to the staid status quo.


The group has just opened its twelfth hotel in Melrose’s hip and happening precinct, and employs more than 500 people across Sandton, Melrose, Menlyn, Rosebank, Cape Town and Umhlanga. With aggressive plans to open two hotels a year for the next five years, Wachsberger’s growth strategy flies in the face of conventional caution typical of the currently constrained property market.


 About The Capital Hotels and Apartments


Since its inception in 2008, The Capital Hotels and Apartments has achieved outstanding success in the corporate hotel industry.


The Capital Hotels and Apartments is one of the largest providers of fully serviced luxury apartments and hotel rooms in the country.

• National operation with multiple properties in key locations, including nine apartment hotels in Sandton, Melrose, Menlyn, Rosebank, Cape Town and Umhlanga
• Fastest growing group in South Africa, opening on average two new hotels each year
• The only hybrid operator in South Africa, with fully serviced luxury apartments (1 800 + rooms)
• Revolutionized the market by offering solutions for short, medium and long-term travellers (including families)
• Cost-effective frills-free accommodation tailored to modern business travel needs
• Owner-managed with a flat management structure, which means quick decisions, no bureaucracy, and an agile entrepreneurial approach at every level
• A disruptive and dynamic brand anchored in breaking hotel norms and fostering entrepreneurial spirit
• A proudly South African business (approx. 520 + employees), focused on identifying opportunities for growth to provide jobs in the future

For more information, visit www.thecapital.co.za


About Discovery Health
Discovery Health is the leading medical scheme administrator in South Africa, providing administration and managed care services to over 3.3 million beneficiaries. The business has a market share of over 40% in the overall medical scheme market in South Africa, and manages 18 closed medical schemes on behalf of leading corporate clients, as well as Discovery Health Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest open medical scheme.

About DHMS

The Discovery Health Medical Scheme is an independent non-profit entity governed by the Medical Schemes Act, and regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes. It is administered by a separate company, Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, an authorised financial services provider. Discovery Health Medical Scheme is a registered open medical scheme which any member of the public can join, subject to its rules. An independent board of trustees oversees the Scheme’s business. Covering 2 819 139 beneficiaries at 31 December 2018, Discovery Health Medical Scheme is the largest open medical scheme in South Africa with an open medical scheme market share of 56.6%.


 


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