Kerala’s COVID-19 fight is a model for other states: Maharashtra Health Minister

Kerala, which reported the first cases in the country as early as Jan 30, has managed to limit the cases to 631 nearly four months on.
Ministers Shailaja and Rajesh Tope
Ministers Shailaja and Rajesh Tope
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Kerala's work in the fight against COVID-19 is a model for other states, said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajeshbhaiyya Tope. He said this over a video conference with Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.

As of Monday, there are 35,058 cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, after the first case was reported on March 9. Kerala, which reported the first cases in the country as early as January 30, has managed to limit the cases to 631 nearly four months afterward.

Minister Tope had a detailed conversation with his Kerala counterpart to understand the standard operating protocols, guidelines, treatment and tests adopted by the state in curbing the spread of the disease.

Minister Tope said that a big challenge was in ensuring physical distancing in the state especially in slum areas like Dharavi.

Maharashtra is the state to have reported the most number of COVID-19 deaths in the country. On Monday, the state reported the total number of deaths due to the pandemic as 1,249.

Even though the Maharashtra government is trying its best to contain the spread of the disease, there is the challenge of also dealing with other diseases which are spreading in the state.

Minister Tope appreciated Kerala’s efforts in reducing the number of deaths and bringing in good quarantine facilities to contain the disease.

Minister Shailaja told him that home quarantine is a successful method that Kerala has tried in the first and second phases of the disease. Those who did not have the facilities at home to maintain physical distancing with others were put in the government’s care centres. Most people are cooperating with the health department's quarantine instructions, the minister said. She spoke about the Plan A-B-C preparations the state had in place at the outset, to also include private hospitals if the disease began to spread.

Minister Shailaja also explained other measures such as reverse quarantine, to protect high risk categories of people such as the elderly, people with disability and pregnant women. Medicines for the elderly, as well as food for Anganwadi students were delivered home. Community kitchens provided food for the helpless and needy, and welfare pensions were distributed. Counselling was also provided for more than 8 lakh people with anxiety issues.

Minister Tope was also interested to know about the motivational campaign to keep the health workers in good spirits, in which several celebrities had taken part.

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