Coronavirus scare at hotel is 'false alarm'

A social media post saying The Strand Hotel in Gzira was on lockdown due to a suspected case was 'fake news', Operations Manager says

The Strand Hotel
The Strand Hotel

The Operations Manager at The Strand Hotel has confirmed that no guests at the historic hotel called for an ambulance and that news of a suspected coronavirus case in the building was "false."

Facebook posts doing the rounds have said that an ambulance stopped outside the Gzira hotel on Monday afternoon and fully-kitted doctors and nurses entered the building.

"I can confirm that that ambulance had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the hotel," manager Sebastiano Romeo said.

He established that an ambulance had driven up to The Strand and had stopped close to the hotel along with a police car but that the vehicles did not make contact with the hotel.

"Nobody entered the hotel. We confirmed that there were no suspected cases."

MaltaToday went on-site and guests were leaving and entering the hotel as normal. There were no signs of panic and the ambulance had already departed by the time we arrived.

A photograph on Facebook showed the ambulance and the police car outside The Strand. A screenshot of a text message attached with the photo said that fully-kitted hospital personnel had entered the hotel. 

"This is not true, it's fake news. I don't know why the ambulance was close to the area, I cannot say. What I can say is that the hotel has nothing to do with it," Romeo said, adding that nobody was picked up by the ambulance.