United Nations honours Indian State Health Minister for her efforts in COVID-19
On the World Public Service Day (June 23, 2020), the United Nations honoured Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja by inviting her to join the panel of discussion on COVID-19. The Minister was the honoured speaker from India to speak about the strategies adopted by the state of Kerala to combat COVID-19.
The Kerala State Health Minister K K Shailaja shared the state’s strategy of aggressive testing, contact tracing, quarantining. She also explained how these measures helped to slow down the spread of the virus in the state.
Today, the strategies are known as the “Kerala Model”.
Kerala began tackling the virus with contact tracing to identify how far the virus had spread. The first case of COVID-19 was reported in January 2020. By March 2020, 100s of overseas workers had returned to Kerala.
The state, no matter how the scenario changed, consistently followed the motto of “Test, Trace, Isolate and Support”. By mid-June around 1,87,000 people had returned to the state. It still follows Planning, Contact Tracing and Oversight to contain the disease.
Though the state saw initial spike in COVID-19 cases, the strategy of Kerala began paying off by April 2020. There were zero reported cases in Kerala by April 2020. However, when the inter state travel began, the cases in the state again began to increase.
Kerala by Plan A will isolate patients at public hospitals. Also, it will create plans to make sure the hospitals have enough beds to isolate them.
Under Plan B, which is the worst-case scenario, Kerala will transform the primary health care centres in to family health care centres.