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Viral video shows China hotel staff cleaning cups, sinks and toilets with same sponge

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Fri, Nov 16, 2018 – 4:07 PM

[HONG KONG] Luxury Chinese hotels run by Hilton, Marriott and several other chains apologised for unhygienic practices after a video went viral on the Internet showing housekeeping staff using the same sponges to clean cups and sinks, and wiping down bathroom surfaces with guest towels.

The statements came after an 11-minute video was posted on Weibo, a popular social networking site, claiming to show hidden-camera footage of cleaning staff at hotels operated by Shangri-La Asia Ltd, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and others.

The video has gotten 29 million views and elicited tens of thousands of comments and shares.

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, which is run by Marriott International Inc, apologised in a statement posted on Thursday on Weibo, saying it will investigate and take appropriate action.

A similar apology came from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which said it would strengthen room-check rules, and work with government to respond.

The video, which was posted Nov 14, shows a housekeeper at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Shanghai using a single sponge to clean cups and the sink.

The housekeeper then takes the same sponge and cleans the toilet, according to text shown in the video.

The hotel chain apologised in a statement posted to Weibo.

At the Bulgari Hotel in Shanghai, a worker is shown reusing a plastic-cup cover fished out of a garbage bin.

A worker at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Shanghai uses a gel that the video describes as shampoo to clean cups.

A statement issued on Thursday by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism said “all levels of cultural and tourism authorities should draw inferences and give high priority to the supervision of tourism service quality”.

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Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

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BEIJING — The Chinese tourism ministry has asked authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to investigate room cleaning at 14 major hotels after hidden camera video showed workers using used towels to clean cups and glasses and other questionable practices.

Several of the hotels including a Shangri-La, Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria have apologized since an activist blogger posted the video online earlier this week. In several clips, workers in bathrooms wipe down sinks, coffee cups and glasses with the same used towel.

The Peninsula hotel in Beijing said Friday that city inspectors had tested its cups and found they were cleaner than standards required. The Park Hyatt in Beijing called what happened an isolated occurrence.

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UPDATED: Crew of Centennial Harmony safe, carrying on with voyage despite flooding, power issues

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The bulk carrier Centennial Harmony is experiencing flooding and intermittent power issues, but it is under control and there are currently no intentions to abandon ship.

There are 21 crew on board.‎

“All crew members are safe,” said Jocelyn Lubczuk, press secretary for the minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a phone call shortly after 9:30 p.m. “They’re carrying on with their voyage.”

Major Amber Bineau, a public affairs officer with the Joint Task Force Atlantic told The Telegram by e-mail that the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Halifax responded to the incident about 250 nautical miles East-South East of St. John's in the South Grand Banks region beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The ship required technical assistance due to the intermittent power issues.

Responding to the carrier are Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft CC-130 Hercules and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfred Grenfell.

Bineau said weather is an issue with poor visibility, high winds and rough seas but conditions are expected to improve.

“The sea state was originally reported as being between 18-20 meters that have since abated to about 10-12 meters. Winds were reported at 85 knots and are reported to have decreased to about 65 knots,” Bineau wrote.

A resupply ship – Maersk Cutter – is about 80 nautical miles away from Centennial Harmony and is on standby to assist if required.

Earlier story:

The Telegram has received reports a bulk carrier is in distress about 60 miles from the Terra Nova oilfield.

A source familiar with marine traffic told The Telegram the crew onboard the Baltic Shipping bulk carrier Centennial Harmony were heading to lifeboats after the ship took on water and lost power this afternoon.

Those details have not been confirmed by Coast Guard, however Coast Guard has confirmed the Sir Wilfred Grenfell is on the way to assist the ship and that the case is being co-ordinated out of Halifax.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., a spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard said their office is “incredibly seized by the situation” and are compiling details before issuing a statement.

Calls to the Coast Guard in Halifax have not yet been returned.

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