The number of active COVID-19 cases in India has shot up to 14,175 and 543 people have lost their lives. In Kerala alone, the total number of confirmed cases is 402 and three people have died of coronavirus in the state. The state, however, has managed to flatten the curve and no considerable spike in the number of cases has been witnessed so far. While the credit goes to many, there is one woman who spearheaded the COVID-19 response of Kerala and deserves all your applause. The state health minister and a former science teacher, KK Shailaja, fondly called Shailaja Teacher, held daily press conferences for about two weeks and briefed the media about the developments in the state due to COVID-19.
Soon after that, the first few positive cases got confirmed. One of the reasons why she is handling the crisis hands-on is because she tackled the Nipah Virus outbreak as the health minister of Kerala in 2018.
While speaking to a leading news agency, Shailaja said that the coronavirus mortality rate in Kerala is way less than what's around the globe. "Coronavirus mortality rate in Kerala is below 0.5% but in the world, it is more than 5%. In some places, it is even more than 10%. Most of the people who are in isolation in the hospitals are stable and very few are in critical stage," said Kerala's Health Minister. She further mentioned how the patients are being treated with most care. "The discharging or cure rate is also very high in Kerala because of our systematic work. We evaluate everything every day," Shailaja recently told the news agency.
Shailaja's social media pages also are flooded with tips and encouragement posts for quarantined patients and healthcare workers. Take a look at a few of the posts shared by her.
Now, of course, it is reassuring to see the health minister of your state keeping you updated with first-hand information and doing the best possible to save the citizens. Shailaja, however, continues to remain alert despite relaxations in certain districts being put into effect. "Things can still go haywire anytime if we are not alert, but at the same time, life has to go on, if not, there will be other issues. It should not be like, we saved people from COVID, but people die out of hunger," said Shailaja. She further clarified that whatever relaxations have been announced should not become a reason to forget the alertness that the state maintained. "The relaxation should be used to revive the economy and it should happen by keeping all the rules and regulations of maintaining social distancing," she said.
Let's hope other states are able to replicate Teacher Shailaja's working model too. Till then, #StayHomeStaySafe