Explained: How containment for coronavirus in Kerala found positive response
New Delhi, Apr 23: Kerala reported its first coronavirus case on January 30 after a 23-year-old medical student who had returned from Wuhan. Also, more than 700 persons with a travel history to China were kept under observation in the God's own country.
This state has seen more than 400 positive cases and two deaths. But, consistently stayed ahead of the coronavirus curve, with its 70 per cent recovery rate being the highest in the country. Also, it can be seen that Kerala has tested more than 20,000 samples, which is the highest for any states in India.
What is Kerala's containment strategy?
The containment strategy in Kerala's coronavirus battle is its robust healthcare system, considered on a par with those of many developed countries. In June 2019, it was seen that Kerala topped all states on the NITI Aayog's annual health index with an overall score of 74.01.
Though the state has been investing 5 per cent of its total state plan outlay on healthcare, Kerala's focus on healthcare at the level of Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres has made a good remark. With the management of these centres in the hands of three-tier local bodies, many of these have modern diagnostic facilities and offer tele-medicine services.
In February, the state's coronavirus control team laid out guidelines on testing, quarantine, hospital admission and discharge criteria, which is regularly updated.
However, it can be seen that until January, Kerala did not have any testing facility and throat swabs of suspected coronavirus cases had to be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. But by the first week of February, NIV-Alappuzha got sanction to conduct the tests.
How Nipah virus helped Kerala to respond for coronavirus swiftly?
Keeping the tracing of people who had contacts of positive cases, Kerala also enforced 28 days of home quarantine although the general incubation period for the novel coronavirus pandemic is 14 days.
Kerala began to screen all international passengers from the beginning of March. Also, though some managed to skip the screening at the airport, those had to deal with the village committees, who kept the health officials informed about fresh arrivals and ensured they remained indoors. The state also launched call centres in hotspot areas such as Kasaragod and Kannur districts.