As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in India continue rising, Kerala, which had some early success in dealing with COVID cases, saw a steep rise in COVID cases with more and more people flying in the State. Kerala’s mortality rate still remains one of the lowest as the state has now tweaked its strategy to deal with COVID cases.
It’s important to note the role of Kerala’s Health and Social Welfare Minister, Ms. KK Shailaja, in efficiently dealing with the COVID challenge.
Since the first case of Coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, Shailaja has been keeping a close eye on the development and spread of the virus. Taking into consideration the fact that many students from Kerala travel regularly to Wuhan for their studies, the Minister ensured that the State was well-equipped to deal with the arrival of the virus. Quarantine facilities were prepared and medical aid and equipment was made readily available. Furthermore, the Minister ensured that decisions were made according to scientific reasoning, and with the advice of subject experts.
Over a month before Modi declared a nation-wide shutdown across India in response to the threat of Coronavirus, Kerala had already declared a State-wide Emergency – in the first week of February. Shailaja recognised the gravity of the situation, and ensured that the State took the threat seriously. All public events were cancelled, movie theatres and schools were shut down and more doctors were sought out and appointed. Now, as the whole country struggles to deal with the effects of the lockdown, Shailaja is ensuring school children don’t miss out on their afternoon meals by serving them in their homes.
Shailaja has been open about her lack of trained medical knowledge, and she makes a conscious effort to ensure her people are well informed about the progression of the virus through her social media account (@shailajateacher) and daily conversations with the press. Since coming into power in 2016, Shailaja has faced multiple tragedies alongside the people of Kerala. In 2018, Kerala dealt with the outbreak of the Nipah Virus, followed by devastating floods in both 2018 and 2019. In the face of all this adversity, Shailaja stood out as a capable, compassionate and effective leader who was able to lead her State out of crisis.
In the aftermath of the floods, Shailaja did her best to ensure easy access to food and medication for the underprivileged sections of society. In order to avoid the onset of water-borne diseases, the Minister brought in homeopathic and ayurvedic doctors and through her meticulous planning she successfully avoided further disasters for the people of Kerala.
Shailaja’s commendable track record in resolving public health issues and compassionate approach to crisis management make her a reliable leader for the people in Kerala. In these scary and uncertain times, Shailaja inspires confidence.