Hunger forces COVID-19 patients to come out of wards at JNIMS in Imphal

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press over the phone, one of the patients complained that their daily meals consist of only rice and dal with a few vegetables.

 

Several COVID-19 positive patients who are undergoing treatment at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal, stormed out of COVID care wards on Wednesday, demanding proper and quality food to be provided to them on time.

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press over the phone, one of the patients complained that their daily meals consist of only rice and dal with a few vegetables. The patient alleged that no evening tea or snacks are provided to them as well and said that they are also protesting against the alleged delay in providing food to them.

The patient said that breakfasts are supposed to be served before 9:30 am but it often gets delayed. It has caused severe inconveniences to the patients, particularly those who are on heavy medication, he added.

Demanding that nutritious food must be provided in a timely manner, the patients started breaking the main doors and staged a protest outside the COVID-19 care facility of the hospital around 1 pm, sources said.

The hospital management has been allegedly ignoring their complaints for months, though the patients have been demanding better food management, the sources added.

While talking with JNIMS superintendent, professor T Rajen informed that they have been facing shortage of vegetables, non-vegetarian food and other essentials due to the lockdown. However, a meeting was conducted in the evening with patients and an agreement was reached.

Rajen said that though the patients were given non-veg food at dinner time between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm and veg food at lunch hour which is from 11 am to 1 pm, they have been unable to provide for the last two weeks. Now, the meeting has resolved to add fish or egg during lunch, and increase the number of water bottles, he added.

The professor further said that with the approval from the government, the catering services for the patients were taken care of by a private agency. The private agency has also agreed to supply good food, he added.

The meeting was conducted in the presence of JNIMS director, deputy director, private agency representatives, and deputy finance of JNIMS.

First Published:Aug. 5, 2020, 8:28 p.m.

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