Onam feast in operation theatre sparks row

Trivandrum - Onam feast was organised by staff at Trivandrum Medical College Hospital inside an operation theatre.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Mon 24 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 24 Aug 2015, 9:51 AM

Organising feasts in work places from Atham, the first day of the 10-day Onam festivities, has become very common in Kerala in the recent years.
The authorities have been encouraging this as it fostered unity and brotherhood among the workers. However, the Onam sadya organised by a section of doctors and nurses at the Trivandrum Medical College Hospital on Saturday has raised eyebrows in the state.
The event sparked controversy as the organisers had converted an operation theatre into a dining room for serving the traditional Onam feast comprising 25 varieties of dishes and desserts on plantain leaves to 100 people. The organisers had also set up the traditional Onam pookalam (floral carpet) there.
The organisers shifted the feast to the nearby canteen after the matter surfaced in the TV channels. Medical College Principal Dr Thomas Mathew later came out with a denial. He said that the feast was served at a room adjoining the operation theatre.
Dr Thomas said doctors and other employees involved in surgeries used to take their food in the room normally. However, he admitted that it was wrong as theatre complex are to be kept bacteriologically safe always.
The college principal said that the entire area will be fumigated before the next use and will never be used in future for eating food. However, Health Minister V S Sivakumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
He said that he was told by the hospital authorities that the feast was served at the canteen. "If this is proved wrong, stern action will be taken against all those responsible for the 'unhealthy act," he added.

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