Aurangabad, May 4:
Expressing concern over the food waste and taking seriousness cognizance of the issue, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) officials, assured of taking immediate measures in this regard and instruct the caterers to take proper food care of elderly Covid patients, undergoing treatment in its Covid Care Centres, hereafter.
The AMC city engineer S D Panzade appreciated and thanked the newspaper for bringing the issue to the notice. " I am also of opinion that food should not be wasted. It is a matter of great concern. I will instruct all our caterers to obtain the details of the total number of elder patients undergoing treatment in each CCC by contacting their heads. Accordingly, they will make and serve separate food packets of smaller quantities to the elder patients. It is not a big deal. The caterer will serve food packets of regular quantity for the other patients, while the smaller quantity will be for the senior citizens," said the city engineer.
Earlier, we had tried to serve food packets in smaller quantities to avoid wastage, but there was hue and cry over it. As a result, we were compelled to increase the quantity of food in regular packets. There are few patients who demand two food packets also, pointed out Panzade.
Apart from AMC's CCCs, there are big and medium hospitals in the city which also treat the Covid patients and serves food to them during the treatment period and there were plaints about food waste in these hospitals also.
When contacted the working president of Marathwada Hospitals Association (MAH), Dr. Himanshu Gupta thanked the newspaper for reminding him about the food waste. He said, " The issue of food waste had come to our notice and we had acted accordingly by alerting all caterers or canteen operators of our member-hospitals to serve food in smaller quantity. They were told to go for the second serve on demand. Meanwhile, I will again take up the issue will post the message alerting to focus on avoiding food waste on our social media groups of DCHs and CCCs."
Dr. Gupta underlines that the outstation patients (who do not have any relatives in local) undergoing treatment in the city prefer to order food from hospital canteens, while the local patients consume home-cooked food only. Generally, the infected patients including elders complain of losing the taste of food during the treatment. Hence, the food intake remains just a formality for these patients to gain immunity and recover speedily. The complaints of food waste are high in private hospitals turned CCCs as they deprive of regular canteen facility on the campus. Hence the food is served to their patients by caterers in regular quantity packets only.
The AMC runs 18 CCCs, situated in different parts of the city, with 3,207 beds facilities in them. As per today's report, 1,372 active patients are undergoing treatments in 12 CCCs. There are three private CCCs also registered with AMC.
During the last week, the AMC had paid Rs 4.53 crore to 10 caterers, who had served two times meals to Covid patients in the CCCs, during the last year. Presently the food is served by six reputed caterers.
Meanwhile, all big private hospitals from Aurangabad and Jalna cities are listed as Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCHs). Of the total 1,500 bed facilities, 1,200 active patients are undergoing treatment in them as of today.