With coronavirus outbreak being declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, India has put stringent travel restrictions. So far the number of people infected is said to be 73 with no confirmed deaths. Covid 19 cases have been reported from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, J&K, Punjab and Ladakh.

Coronavirus in Kerala

Kerala had confirmed the first case of coronavirus in India and now 17 people have tested positive in the state. Earlier the three students who were tested positive have recovered and left isolation wards. A state of Health emergency has been declared in the state. All the schools have been closed down, banned public meetings. The public has been asked to refrain and restrict themselves from festivals and conducting family celebrations as a precaution.

K K Shailaja Teacher is Kerala’s Minister for Health and Social Justice. She is the woman behind combating the deadly coronavirus. The minister promised to do whatever she can and also that they will overcome this health scare. Responsible behaviour can help contain the virus. To block and contain coronavirus contact tracing will be adopted and will be done with the help of local bodies.

Shailaja told Huffington Post, “Fighting an epidemic like corona requires scientific temper, humanism and a spirit for inquiry and reform. Superstition, credulity, emotionalism and irrationalism will derail the whole process by dispiriting and discouraging the experts and health activists who try hard to resolve the threat scientifically. In Kerala, we have initiated stringent police action against those who attempted to spread stupidity in the face of virus scare. That was among the main reasons why Kerala made some early advantages in checking the spreading of the virus,’’

Actions taken

  • Kerala’s Health minister Shailaja is a role model for successfully handling India’s first three positive coronavirus patients and taking all the precautions that are needed to contain it.
  • As soon as the Minister saw articles about coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China. She knew she had to be prepared for it and immediately called the Health Secretary to take the precautions which were needed.
  • The cases of coronavirus have risen and have become a pressing matter. Due to this, the Health Minister urged people to share their travel history as soon as possible.
  • Shailaja also said that hiding their travel history from the government will be considered as a crime according to the Public Health Act.
  • Three people have been charged for spreading rumours on social media about coronavirus.
  • The state has been put on high alert. KK Shailaja added that what we need is community surveillance and the main motive is not to lose any life.
  • Shailaja said that the state is determined to trace the primary and secondary contacts of the ones who have been tested positive. So that this could be prevented further.
  • The Minister has also asked the public to cooperate with the government.
  • Shailaja also announced that more laboratories have been given permission to test samples after the state approached the centre.

Also Read: Coronavirus Crosses 95,000 Cases Globally, How Prepared Are We?

A few things that you should know about KK Shailaja

  • Shailaja entered politics through the student’s federation of India and later made her way through it to become a member of CPI(M)’s central committee.
  • K K Shailaja is the state secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association and Joint Secretary of its Central Committee. She is also credited with being an author of two books.
  • The Minister who hails from Mattannur in Kannur district and is 63 accepts that all ministers cannot be experts in the areas allotted to them. But they can make a lot of difference just by being alert and responsible.

” As soon as she saw articles about the Coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China. She knew she had to be prepared for it.”

How K K Shailaja handled Nipah Virus in 2018

KK Shailaja was given a lot of appreciation for the way that she dealt with the Nipah Virus outbreak in 2018. Tracing the people infected and isolating them done very efficiently by the Kerala government. When Nipah was first diagnosed the government immediately swung into action. The Health Minister and other officials worked very hard and that is one of the reasons why the situation was controlled.

Her encounter with Nipah, had taught her to be watchful which has helped her deal with the present crisis.  “Strict measures have been taken to address the problem.  Now I am within the reach and any staff member can contact me,” said K.K Shailaja. The minister conducts review meetings on a daily basis and according to her Kerala is prepared to deal with this threat.

Shreya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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