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Kerala Is Not Easier To Manage Than New York: K.K. Shailaja

In an interview with Outlook, Kerala health minister K.K. Shailaja—aka ‘Shailaja Teacher’—explains how the state is refocusing its strategy post-opening up.

Kerala Is Not Easier To Manage Than New York: K.K. Shailaja
Kerala Is Not Easier To Manage Than New York: K.K. Shailaja
outlookindia.com
2020-06-13T14:15:48+05:30

With low mortality and high recovery rates, there has been a ‘Kerala model’ in pandemic control too. But post-opening up, the coronavirus again stalks the coastal state. State health minister K.K. Shailaja—aka ‘Shailaja Teacher’—explains how they’re refocusing their strategy. Excepts from an interview with Preetha Nair

Kerala’s Covid curve is rising again....

We were expecting the rise after the influx of expats and those from other states—till now, 1,87,619 people have reached the state from outside. The majority of new cases are among them—total confirmed cases have crossed 2,096 now. We are not worried…the situation is not out of control yet. We have surveillance at airports, sea ports and state borders. But with lakhs coming in, institutional quarantine is difficult. People who come by road or air can go for 14-day home quarantine if they don’t have any symptoms. Only symptomatic patients are shifted to hospitals.

Also Read | Our Live-in Virus: What Does the Real Covid Map Look Like?

What about Kerala’s famed contact tracing?

Though it’s an arduous task now, we are still following the method of contact tracing, quarantining, testing, isolation and treatment. Our motto is to flatten the curve and reduce mortality. We have strict panchayat-level monitoring in place to oversee people in quarantine. If we can control contacts, we can bring down the numbers too. People are following principles of home quarantine. But with lockdown relaxations, people have to behave more responsibly now…they sometimes behave as...

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