Explained: How Kasaragod model fought against coronavirus pandemic
New Delhi, Apr 21: As the central government showcased the contact tracing and containment model of Kasaragod in Kerala, which was one of the earliest spots on India's COVID-19 map, is now one of the success stories of the containment exercise.
Here's a look at the Kasaragod model, and how it is different from other models across the country that have generated interest.
According to the numbers uploaded by the state government, Kasaragod had 169 cases and zero deaths until April 19, which is one of the unique achievement in itself, given the fact that a large proportion of the district's population have settled abroad. Of these infected, as many as 123 people have recovered so far, leaving only 46 active cases among the original 169.
In the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak, almost all index cases were those who had caught the deadly virus during their travel to abroad. The second wave in the district happened after people started coming back from the Middle East from March 16.
How did Kasaragod achieve its containment?
It can be seen that Kasargod is far from major cities, so that the isolation exercise was smoother. Kasaragod is far away from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. However, this distance also presented an additional challenge. Many people were seen returning in large groups, after they landed in various airports and took various public transport options - railways, road etc to reach home.
What is the Kasaragod model?
Kasargod administration relied on aggressive testing, technology, foolproof contact tracing, and an effective public awareness campaign on social distancing to achieve the results. In this district, as in other districts, the state government appointed a special officer to coordinate functioning of the district administration. The special officier also made an effective coordination between line departments at field and secretariat levels.
Section 144 was also imposed in the entire district, with seven drones for surveillance. The adminsitration tracked all the quarantined people using GPS. Essentials were home-delivered in the containment or cluster zones, irrespective of their social status. Several campaigns on "Break the Chain" was carried out to send out a message of social distancing.