The Hotel Equatorial Penang (HEP), Penang's largest convention hotel, reopens on Monday, June 28, 2021 as one of the state's largest Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Centre or PPV, following its announcement of closure in March.
With the help of 40 paid employees and four management staff, the hotel is anticipated to administer around 1,600 doses of vaccination per day. Those working in Penang's Business & Industrial sectors, as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMI), are among those targeted to receive vaccines from the hotel.
Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State Executive Councilor for Tourism and Creative Economy Exco, and Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), conducted a site inspection at the hotel yesterday afternoon to further understand the procedures and arrangements.
“The Penang State Government is exploring the feasibility of more hotels functioning as PPVs to ramp up Penang’s vaccination drive, strategically putting these sites to great use during this period when travel restrictions are still in place. Hotel Equatorial Penang is the first convention hotel to be converted into a PPV and I believe this will assist greatly in speeding up the vaccination process and
cover more of Penang’s population,” said Yeoh.
The conversion consists of the Grand Ballroom, one of the largest free column ballrooms in the hotel, that previously hosted 2,000 guests in general before social distancing.
Mr Alan Ong, advisor to Hotel Equatorial Penang explains that the decision to convert the hotel into a PPV is a joint effort between HEP and the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI), International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), and Penang Health Department (JKNPP) through the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) and ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd (ProtectHealth) under the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“Although the hotel is closed, we are glad to be able to make available the facilities for use as a PPV and hope that it will be a meaningful contribution in our nation's battle against the pandemic,” said Mr. Alan Ong.
“Hotel Equatorial Penang has been a beacon filled with history and memorable moments for Penangites and those who visit Penang. Even though its closure, it is still serving the people of Penang through this trying time. We are glad to be witnessing this achievement from a valuable industry partner,” said Ashwin.