Indian restaurant offers ‘COVID curry’ to scared customers

A waiter serves ‘Covid Curry’ and ‘Mask Naan,’ two Covid-19 coronavirus-themed dishes, at a restaurant in Jodhpur on August 3, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 03 August 2020

Indian restaurant offers ‘COVID curry’ to scared customers

  • India has had 1.8 million cases, the third-highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil

JODPHUR, India: An Indian restaurant is hoping to win back customers afraid of eating out during the pandemic with a special “COVID Curry” and “Mask Naans.”
“This has been a really tough time for us and for our entire sector,” Yash Solanki, owner of the vegetarian Vedic eatery in the western city of Jodphur, said.
The fried vegetable balls have been shaped to look like the “crowned” coronavirus, while the accompanying breads look like surgical masks.
Solanki said that they had also added, and advertised, that their COVID curry had extra Indian herbs and spices that are good for people’s health.
“Even with recently relaxed curbs, the fear still dominates. People are still very reluctant to eat out,” Solanki said.
Almost 800 people are dying daily from coronavirus in the world’s second-most populous nation, with around 50,000 new infections reported every 24 hours.
The country has had 1.8 million cases, the third-highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil, and more than 38,000 deaths.


American sued in Thailand over negative Tripadviser review

Updated 26 September 2020

American sued in Thailand over negative Tripadviser review

  • ‘We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future’

BANGKOK: An American has been sued by an island resort in Thailand over a negative TripAdviser review, authorities said Saturday, and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty.
Domestic tourism is still happening in Thailand, where coronavirus numbers are relatively low, with locals and expats heading to near-empty resorts — including Koh Chang island, famed for its sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
But a recent visit to the Sea View Resort on the island landed Wesley Barnes in trouble after he wrote unflattering online reviews about his holiday.
“The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadviser website,” Col. Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police said.
He said Barnes was accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel,” and of quarrelling with staff over not paying a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.
Barnes, who works in Thailand, was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang where he was briefly detained and then freed on bail.
According to the Tripadviser review Barnes posted in July, he encountered “unfriendly staff” who “act like they don’t want anyone here.”
The Sea View Resort said legal action was only taken because Barnes had penned multiple reviews on different sites over the past few weeks.
At least one was posted in June on Tripadviser accusing the hotel of “modern day slavery” — which the site removed after a week for violating its guidelines.
“We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” the hotel said, adding that staff had attempted to contact Barnes before filing the complaint.
Barnes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Thailand’s notorious anti-defamation laws have long drawn scrutiny from human rights and press freedom groups, who say powerful players use it as a weapon to stifle free expression.
The maximum sentence is two years in prison, along with a 200,000 baht ($6,300) fine.
Earlier this year, a Thai journalist was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a tweet referencing a dispute over working conditions at a chicken farm owned by the Thammakaset company.