Glenary’s, the Darjeeling eatery, has decided to convert its restaurant section into an isolation centre for treating Covid-19 patients free of charge.
Ajoy Edwards, the owner of the 130-year-old eatery, said the decision had been taken as it was time for every citizen to “fight this war” in his/her own way.
“We have decided to convert the restaurant on the top floor into an isolation centre with a basic oxygen supply facility. We will also provide food and medicines to patients free of cost,” said Edwards.
The state government had on May 3 issued an advisory requesting social organisations to set up isolation centres for people with mild Covid symptoms.
This is, however, the first time in the hills that a restaurant has decided to start an isolation centre offering services free of cost. “We have been keeping track of hospital beds in our region and we are anticipating that it will be difficult to get beds for Covid patients in the days to come. This prompted us to start the initiative,” said Edwards.
The isolation centre of Glenary’s is being set up by Edwards Foundation run by his family in collaboration with Darjeeling Initiative (a social organisation) and Planter’s Hospital here.
The 200-seater restaurant will start as a 20-bed isolation centre “most probably from Wednesday as health officials will be inspecting the facility on Tuesday.” Plans are afoot to double the bed capacity depending on the need.
Glenary’s has three floors, with a resto bar on the ground floor, bakery on the first floor and the restaurant on the top floor.
The bakery will remain open. “We will completely seal off the top floor and follow all SOPs,” said Edwards, whose family also stays in the same building.
Efforts are being made to procure as many oxygen concentrators as possible.
Glenary’s always stands out for its business model. It neither retrenches nor retires employees and stood by the policy during the lockdown last year. All workers are paid their full salaries through their life. This policy was started in 2000 when Edwards took charge of the business.