Government officials have defended the food being supplied to Covid-19 quarantine patients in Bengaluru as a “well-balanced nutritious diet,” even though the menu appears to pale compared that offered in other states.
Although those under quarantine in Kerala are fed a variety of dishes, the fare is inclined towards a more local palate - ragi balls and bisi bele bath - in Karnataka. In Kerala, quarantine menu is supplanted with special items on request while the options in
Karnataka are limited.
According to staff at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Chest Diseases (RGICD), where five positive Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru are being treated, breakfast comes with an option of idli, pongal, bisi bele bath, avalakki bath (or beaten rice), rava idli or bread.
Lunch consists of a ragi ball, white rice, mixed vegetable curry, a cup of yogurt, two eggs and fruits, to serve as a source of vitamins. Dinner meantime, comes with two chapatis, a vegetable side-dish and mixed vegetable curry. In addition, according to the hospital, it also provided ragi malt with jaggery at mid-morning and 110 ml of milk in the evening.
However, with several of those under quarantine being non-Kannadigas, the choice of palate could be problematic. Dr C Nagaraja, the Director of RGICD said that the menu had been crafted to deliver maximum nutrients to the patients.
“North Indians have the choice of chapatis instead of ragi balls. The menu was decided upon by our dietician who has been with RGICD for two years. As far as we are concerned, the current menu is nutrient rich and adequate,” he said.
He added that three of the Covid-19 patients at RGICD belong to the same family and are being supplied with food from their home.