With the massive outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe, countries have adopted numerous policies to contain its spread. However, only very countries so far have managed to flatten the curve.
In India, the virus arrived much later than it did to other parts of the world, so we had ample time to prepare ourselves by observing what other countries were doing to contain the virus. Implementing a nationwide lockdown in the early stages of the spread has been hailed as a good decision by experts worldwide. However, the number of positive cases and deaths are still spiking at an alarming rate in the country, which has become a reason for concern.
Kerala was the first state to be hit by the virus in India, and it is now the first state to flatten the curve in India, i.e, the total number of recovered cases now exceeds the total number of positive cases.
As of April 15, the state reported a total of 387 cases of coronavirus, out of which 167 are still active and 218 have recovered. To add to that feat, only one new case of coronavirus was reported in the state on Wednesday--making it the fourth consecutive day that the state reported more recoveries than positive cases!
While Kerala reported India's first-ever case of coronavirus, it is important to note that the state has witnessed only three COVID-19-related deaths so far.
On April 13, the state reported 178 active cases while the total number of recovered patients were 198. The next day, the state reported eight new cases: four from Kannur, three from Kozhikode and one from Kasaragod. Meanwhile, 13 people recovered and were released from the hospital.
As of now, a total of 173 people are under treatment for COVID-19 in the state and 211 people have recovered. About 16,235 samples were sent for testing, of which 15,488 turned negative. At present, 1,07,075 people are undergoing observation across the state.
So how did Kerala manage to contain the outbreak of such a contagious virus, while other states are still struggling to do the same? This is because the government of Kerala studied and adopted the strategies implemented by countries which had successfully managed to flatten the curve, mainly South Korea.
The policy that the country is being praised for is its mass testing of its citizens--it set up walk-in COVID-19 testing booths where anyone and everyone could walk in and get tested in less than 10 minutes. Kerala's Ernakulam district followed suit and launched India’s first walk-in COVID-19 testing facility, a contact-free Walk-in Sample Kiosk (WISK) to keep health workers safe while taking samples to test for COVID-19.
Apart from this, the state is also giving its COVID-19 patients a four-drug mix if they are at the initial stage of developing pneumonia, The drug is proving to be effective in saving lives in one Kerala hospital, and the success stories are earning global recognition according to doctors at Government Medical College (GMC), Ernakulam.
COVID-19 curve of Kerala has started to flatten. The active cases for the last one week has declined. The recovered cases (green curve) will cross the yellow curve soon.#COVID2019 #COVID pic.twitter.com/G9nja0UYCU— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) April 12, 2020
Well, the state of Kerela has certainly achieved a remarkable feat and we hope that other states follow in their footsteps towards a coronavirus-free India. Until then, stay home and stay safe!
Featured Image: The Ernakulam district administration