Bhadrak: The district administration of Bhadrak, which is now pulling out all stops to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, has been praised as well as criticized for posting pictures of breakfast, lunch and dinner it served to COVID-19 patients at a COVID Care Centre.
Unperturbed by the criticism, the district administration says: “It’s time to take care of the COVID-19 patients. Nothing else.”
Soon after the pictures of food served to patients at Salandi COVID hospital were posted on the district administration’s official Twitter handle on Saturday, Twitterati went into overdrive. While some showered praises on the officials, others found it to be ‘dramabazi’.
Partha Swain posted: “Awesome. We truly appreciate our district administration. Way above others. Kudos to u sir.”
Santosh Kumar Mohapatra, who describes himself as a social worker in his Twitter bio, remarked good food will certainly help COVID-19 patients recover soon. “If you serve delicious food and meals, they will have peace of mind and speedy recovery also,” he wrote.
However, some Twitter users termed it as a ‘waste of money’ at a time when many were losing jobs and finding it tough to make ends meet.
Chartered Accountant Biswanath Paul had a piece of advice for the administration. “One item would suffice. The administration should save money for upcoming patients.”
Bibhu Prasad Lenka put it in a humorous way, saying the pictures will make him feel he is now COVID-19 positive. “Sir, kindly don’t post such type of food. Otherwise, I will feel I am COVID-19 positive,” he wrote in the comment section.
When Odisha Bytes sought Bhadrak District Collector Gyan Ranjan Das’ reaction, he said they are following state government rules and trying their best to take care of COVID-19 patients and their well-being.
“The state government has increased the daily diet allowance for COVID-19 patients to Rs 240 (for adults) and Rs 120 (for children below 10 years). Hence, we are serving meals accordingly and, of course, the quality food has improved,” added Das.
Asked whether the district administration was under pressure after some inmates of a quarantine centre in the district alleged lack of basic facilities and poor quality of food served to them, the Collector promptly denied it. “It’s time to take care of the COVID-19 patients as they are staying away from home and their loved ones.”
The district administration sets up a specific menu for a week. For breakfast, they provide upma, puri, ghuguni, apple, boiled eggs, banana, idli, sambar, tea and coffee. Lunch comprises rice, dal-mix curry, bhaja, dalama, saga, fish curry, paneer, chicken, curd, papad and salad etc.
The COVID patients get biri bara (3 pieces), fruit cake, pakudi, petis as snacks with tea and coffee. Dinner comprises rice, roti, dal, bhaja, chole masala, suji, kheer etc.
On May 26, over 200 inmates of a quarantine centre had staged a blockade near College Road in Bhadrak, alleging mismanagement and substandard food being served to them at the centre set up at Bhadrak Autonomous College.
The COVID-19 tally in the district increased to 522 on Sunday with 10 fresh cases being reported in the last 24 hours. With two deaths and 372 recoveries, the Bhadrak district has 148 active cases.