Kerala is a not a model boy for ultra-national sentiments. Often, there is strong divergence between what India thinks and what Kerala thinks on different fronts – on political, social and on economic fronts.
But in the ongoing health emergency, the southern states’ valuable solo fight at the forefront should not be unwatched either by other states or by the centre. It will be a learning lesson and will help all of India to come strong against this health threat.
Often developments in the southern state and the incoming covid threat- all might have been gone less significant amidst Jyothraditya Scindia’s BJP entry. There is every indications that institutional and public sensitiveness is less serious in rest of India while confronting the Corona threat.
More than one month has gone since the reporting of the first covid case in India that was reported from Kerala. It seems that since then, Kerala has entered the second stage of the corona fight while the rest of India is entering into the first stage.
In this case, we can make Kerala, a model to be studied. Following are the five factors that makes Kerala critical in the entire country’s covid fight.
- The high number of expatriates and the high exposure level to the most affected countries- Italy and China: Kerala has one of the largest number of expatriates among states. A large number of expatriates made an early return well before the spread of the disease in the severely affected regions. It is the state with largest expatriates in Italy-the severely affected country after China. Hence, the exposure level of the state to Covid is understandably high vis a vis other states.
Kerala, with a population of 3.5 crore, has three international airports; same as that of Maharashtra that has 12 crore people. That shows the international connectivity of the state as well as the risk exposure.
The state has the largest number of covid affected persons in India and already, an affected elderly couple is fighting for life. Hence it is curious to see how the state’s health system is managing the high risk it is exposed to.
- Early to fell into the contagion risk: Kerala reported the first three corona cases in the country. All the three patients were discharged after treatment. Given the early occurrence of Covid, Kerala can give a lesson on this health emergency management.
- Strong and sophisticated health infrastructure: The health infrastructure of the state is remarkably good and is ranked first in the country. This statement is not a boasting but to indicate that if Kerala fails with this quality infrastructure and public awareness and action; the rest of India should be extremely vigilant. Don’t forget that the risk exposure level is much higher for the state as it has a high public mobility.
- Powerful tracking of the potential virus carriers: the state was able to correctly track the potential persons who are likely to be affected.
- Nipah prepared Kerala to face Covid: The more dangerous Nipah outbreak has just put the state on an alert mode and it helped the state and the society to be extra careful on Covid management.
In our country, the covid outbreak is going to test each state’s health management and infrastructure as public health is a State subject. It seems that the level of panic in the stock exchange has not reached the public and institutions in other Indian states.
The southern state’s ability is written in its high HDI value of 0.785 compared to national score of 0.64. There is no denying with a highly developed social sector including – health and educational levels, Kerala’s war against Covid is critical for rest of India.