How did Kerala flatten its curve in the battle against Covid-19?
Tracing back to the origins of the pandemic that is now rocking the world.
The official epicenter of the COVID 19 pandemic was located in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China. This disease in months was declared a public health emergency that has paved its way globally to terrorize the masses as a pandemic. With the rapid spread of this disease, no preexisting immunity to it, and the lack of availability of any sort of vaccines, WHO has come to the conclusion that the coronavirus is here to stay for a long while. Much like the rest of the world, even one of the most powerful countries that had lost its share in the global pandemics for decades, the United States was jolted by COVID and it simply couldn't escape the shackles of this novel virus. With records stating total death count at 12,839 as early as the 8th April, this pandemic has its vicious roots stranded in the realms of being coined as one of the most noteworthy pandemics of modern times.
Symptoms related to COVID 19 that make this novel virus deadlier than others.
Though COVID 19 affects different people differently, it's common features come inclusive of common symptoms like fever, cough, and briefness of breath. With the increase in the severity of the disease, there are chances that the patient develops severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, or even succumbs to death.
Ever since the onset of this novel virus, various countries and states have provided models to combat and contain the virus effectively. Given the state of major world countries that have been falling apart due to this invasive invisible enemy, very few countries and states actually have left behind a legacy that has left the world in shock and awe.
How badly was the Indian state of Kerala hit by COVID 19?
High alerts all over Kerala were issued as early as 18th January. The state of Kerala witnessed the first three reported cases of coronavirus, the first one being on 30th January, as the virus breached the Indian borders. All of the affected were the students studying in Wuhan. The wildfire began spreading, so much so that Kerala topped the charts for being the most affected state in the whole of India. From having the first reported coronavirus case on January 30th to being the worst-hit state by 26th of March, the state has worked putting in the best medical and social strategies to combat the virus with such effect that it stooped down to four places and was applauded for its remarkable recovery and strategies by the global audience.
The journey for the flattening of the curve.
Kerala's first step was a positive yet defensive response to the COVID 19 when the rest of the country remained mostly oblivious to it. From the likes of the Nipah virus, Kerala has had a rich history of battling some of the major outbreaks. Kerala had started screening tests as early as January even when half the world including India was unaware of it.
The infection prevention and the want to stop the community spread of COVID19 has made rise to a manual of guidelines that have been retouched all over again to get the best available protection for the healthcare workers. It is most likely taken into consideration that given the pathogenicity of the coronavirus and their ways of droplet transmission, some previous rules regarding the PPE usage demanded fixation that the government followed effectively.
Kerala's second step was to back up its frontline workers effectively. With a healthcare system that has been ranked the best in India, the way Kerala flattened its curve and deduced its mortality rate has given major models for the world to follow. It also ensured it safeguarded its doctors via a three-tier system. The vigorous response of Kerala to the coronavirus pandemic was staggering.
Kerala's third step was to intensify the whole procedure. From aggressive tests to intense contact tracing, spreading public awareness, instituting longer quarantines, and crafting out thousands of shelters and feeding possibilities for millions of migrant workers while they were stranded by the visibly never-ending nationwide lockdown. Kerala's success story against COVID is a strong, inspiring, and compassionate one. With a baffling recovery rate, the rate of cases to be reported in Kerala in the first week of April has dropped to 30%.
A battle fought from the mind :
The battle against COVID 19 isn't always restricted to the Indian physician association, healthcare workers, frontline warriors, sanitation workers, police, and army. There's more that's fought along with the social media. A war against the virus to spread correct information. It is to be noted that with the highest literacy rate in the country, Keralites ensured to block as much fake information from spreading, and the awareness at its right tone was preached realizing the utter seriousness of the condition.
The power to the grass-root level:
Fighting COVID isn't a one-man army task. It takes community-level management and cooperation. With the implementation of rigid state lockdown, a day before the declaration of the national lockdown to contact tracing via rigorous 'route maps' Kerala has taken in a lot of innovation from stopping the spread of the pandemic any further. With setting up COVID 19 care centers all over the districts to caring elderly people and people with special needs via the health care workers there are accounts of counselors making more than 3,40,000 calls to ease away the stress of the personnel working in severely affected regions.
What came effective at the end was Kerala's robust public health system and grass root level democracy that led powers to the village councils to take in the matter more precisely. The game-changer for Kerala's effective combating was the decentralization of healthcare facilities. With people being tightly monitored via all the forces, the total strain on the center was less and the end result was more effective. The devolution of power that the Kerala government provided, local community-driven village councils, observant municipalities and a half-century-old legacy of spending more than most Indian states in health care and education have played pivotal roles in containing the virus.