School of Social and Political Science

Kerala’s Covid story serves as a cautionary tale



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The best of intentions can easily be undone when complacency, callousness and incompetence are rife at the highest level, Dr George Palattiyil, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, writes for Edinburgh Impact.

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A bus during the Covid-19 outbreak in Kochi, Kerala. Credit: Getty/OscarEspinosa
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Kerala may be a relatively small state in Indian terms, but the lessons we can learn from its Covid experience are significant.

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Kerala may be a relatively small state in Indian terms, but the lessons we can learn from its Covid experience are significant.

When Covid-19 first struck on 30 January 2020, this model state – with its exemplary achievements in human development and poverty reduction – was quick to respond. Containment, isolation, and tracking was initiated to arrest the household and community spread.

As infection rates spiked, Kerala implemented a series of public health measures, which included awareness programmes, sanitation and cleanliness drives; reaching out to home quarantined persons; and home delivery of kits with essential items.

Lessons learned from managing the Nipah virus in 2019 helped flatten the curve. Recognition of Kerala’s Covid success was widespread, but the praise was premature.

Read the full story by Dr George Palattiyil on the Edinburgh Impact site. 

Image: A bus during the Covid-19 outbreak in Kochi, Kerala. Credit: Getty/OscarEspinosa