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Kerala Approach to coronavirus

  May 02, 2020

Kerala Approach to coronavirus

(A model for other states)

Why is the Kerala model remarkable?

The first case of COVID-19 in India was identified in Kerala. The cases spiked soon but as on April,20, Kerala has not only flattened the curve, but has done so with an extremely low mortality rate of 0.5 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent for India as a whole.

Why was it difficult for Kerala to tackle the menace?

  1. The state has a high population density and high exposure to international travelers.
  2. In general, one member of each family is in the gulf region.

How Kerala dealt with Corona?

The key elements of Kerala’s approach to containing the COVID-19 pandemic were:

  1. Isolation and Tracking - developing an air-tight health protocol for isolating and tracing contacts of those infected and treating them using the public health care system.

With a large number of foreign tourists, emigrants from the Gulf and other countries, the total number of people who were quarantined in Kerala was probably the highest in India.

  1. Assuring necessary food and other household essentials to all. Provision of sufficient quantity of free rice through the public distribution system to all households with an Aadhaar card was provided.
  2. Reaching to the needy section - Community kitchens were started by local governments, to serve those who were old, disabled, or under home quarantine.
  3. Provided income support to those affected by job losses and the slump in the economy.
  4. Mobilizing all sections of society (government departments, local governments, mass organisations, private organisations and individuals).
  5. Behavioural Modelling- A “Break the Chain” campaign was run using all forms of media to ensure proper washing of hands.
  6. Technology - Mobile phone applications and data analytics were used to communicate with people and coordinate the efforts of local governments.
  7. Focus on rural economy- the government took measures to ensure that the rice harvest, which was at its peak in central districts of Kerala, was completed (permits were given to engage harvesters and labour). Arrangements for procurement of milk and processing of milk powder were put in place.
  8. Effective coordination- Different departments of the government worked together with external organisations. Hand sanitizers and soap were provided at every bus stop by mass organisations. For example, Kudumbashree women’s groups began large-scale production of masks and sanitisers.
  9. Youth Participation- More than 250,000 young people registered as volunteers to help in the provisioning of food and other special needs, such as transport of patients to hospitals.