New Delhi: One of the main cooks at the India International Centre (IIC) in New Delhi’s Lodhi Colony tested positive for Covid on 29 July, a week after he started “feeling unwell”.
The cook last reported to work on 22 July and was responsible for kitchen operations. He also dealt with all the cleaning as well as the waitering staff serving the guests in the club and the restaurant.
“One of the cooks was found to be positive two days ago. In fact, he had not been coming to work for the past one week. He is now doing fine,” K.N. Shrivastava, IIC director, told ThePrint.
“We have ensured that we call our staff on a rotation basis and are taking all required precautions,” he added.
However, a staff member, on the condition of anonymity, told ThePrint that the IIC kitchen where the cook worked was allegedly not shut for 48 hours and remains operational.
According to guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, if there are one or two cases reported in a workplace, the disinfection procedure must be carried out in the places and areas visited by the patient in the past 48 hours.
The IIC is considered to be a premier centre, popular among eminent personalities like Supreme Court judges, lawyers and intellectuals, who are regulars at the restaurant and the lounge. The centre opened its restaurant in early June for members.
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‘Kitchen not shut for sanitising’
The staff member said the cook had been feeling unwell for a few days before he went on leave from 22 July.
He added that four staff members, including waiters, who were in direct contact with the cook have been sent home to be quarantined, but no tests had been carried out.
“The kitchen remained operational even after his report came positive. The staff are still coming in. Also, no special sanitising was carried out in the kitchen or anywhere else,” the staff member said.
He also said that the cook was in touch with most waiters who served guests, and remained in the dining hall during their break in afternoon hours. He said no message was sent out to either the members or the staff to inform them about the cook being Covid-positive.
On whether IIC flouted the health ministry rules by not closing the kitchen for disinfection, Shrivastava said, “We anyway carry out a thorough disinfection exercise twice a day. Everything is thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. Before our staff comes in, we take their temperatures and ensure social distancing by calling only limited staff at a time. All the protocols are being religiously followed.”
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