Coronavirus-afflicted patients admitted at St George’s hospital in Mumbai Sunday had a heated argument with hospital staff after a “spoonful of poha” and “half a glass of milk” were served as breakfast. While more than 40 persons are admitted at the hospital’s COVID-19 ward, patients claimed that food was served only for 15. Hospital authorities, meanwhile, said food served was as per the instruction of dietician.
A 50-year-old Mulund-resident, who tested positive for coronavirus a week ago, said, “We had to distribute food among ourselves. When we complained that each patient will get only two to three spoonfuls of poha, the ward boy just shut the door of the ward and left.” The woman said her family members had been under home quarantine and had not been able to bring her food.
A senior citizen from Bhendi Bazaar, who was admitted to the hospital on April 2, said the facilities for testing as well as the treatment meted to patients were “poor”. It took four days for his swab results to arrive after which he was referred from JJ to St Geo-rge’s hospital. On April 8, without his consent, he was transferred to Kasturba hospital from there. On April 16, he was again shifted back to St George’s hospital. “At least, the food at Kasturba hospital was better. Here, we have to beg for food,” he said. His son said he had taken fruits twice, but hospital staff had refused to give it to his father.
Another woman, a Byculla resident, said, “It feels like a prison. The food is of very bad quality. The quantity is so less that even a child will be left hungry,” the 45-year-old woman said.
When contacted, Dr Akash Khobragade, the hospital superintendent, said the food served was as per dietician’s instruction. “… We have received complaints from patients. We will increase the quantity,” he said.
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