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“Reverse Quarantine” – Kerala Health Minister Shailaja Teacher reveals success formula behind effective Covid 19 management

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“We started preparing and kept a watch on the outbreak of Corona virus since January this year. We had an incredibly good experience in containing the NIPAH virus which affected our State two years ago. Hence our preparation and previous experience has helped us to combat the outbreak of Covid 19 effectively” said the Kerala Health Minister Shailaja Teacher. The Kerala Minister was speaking at the webinar organised by World Malayalee Council Sydney on 11th June in collaboration with inQ Innovation Global on post Covid-19 Global Collaboration in Healthcare Research, Innovation, Supply Chain and Healthcare Services.

The Indian State of Kerala witnessed a spurt in COVID‐19 cases after the report of the first case on 2 February 2020. The nationwide lockdown, which began at midnight on 24 March, restricted the entry of people from outside the state. Subsequently, in Kerala, the COVID‐19 curve flattened by the third week of April, and new cases dropped to near zero by the first week of May, with no evidence of community spread. This proactive approach to dealing with COVID‐19 was lauded by global experts as the ‘Kerala Model’.

Kerala Health Minister K. K. Shailaja
Kerala Health Minister K. K. Shailaja

The “Kerala Model’ also included a “reverse quarantine” method. Under reverse quarantine, people having underlying medical conditions, especially those above 65 years and persons who were immune compromised were monitored and separated from public to avoid getting infected. This was implemented through assistance from family members and local bodies which were tasked with contract tracing, testing, providing medicine, food, counselling, and other assistance to such vulnerable community members. COVID Care Centres have been established in all districts with a view to accommodate people who have been advised home isolation but have no residence in Kerala.

Kerala population in 2020 is estimated to be 36 Million (3.6 Crores) with nearly 50 lakhs people are above 60 and approximately 10% are affected due to serious ailments. At this time of writing the 7438 people are infected with 3963 already recovered and the death rate is much below 1%. 

“We also thank the Australian Government for their ongoing support” said Minister Shailaja Teacher. “New South Wales and Kerala are similar in facing issues due to the sudden outbreak of Covid 19” said Mr Scott Farlow, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. “Both our States are focussing on recovery and economy. We look forward to collaboration between our two States and Indian Government on Healthcare and medical research” said Mr Scott Farlow.

Mr. Babu Varghese, President, World Malayalee Council Sydney Province welcomed the dignitaries and participants.This interactive Panel session was moderated by Irfan Malik, CEO inQ Innovation and World Malayalee Council – Global Chair for Start-ups & Innovation and the National Chair for Start-ups and Innovation at the Australia India Business Council.

 Hon. Scott farlow MLC and Irfan Malik, Inq Innovation Global
Hon. Scott farlow MLC and Irfan Malik, Inq Innovation Global

In addition to the Senior Govt representatives from both the States of Kerala, India and NSW, Australia the following distinguished panellists and eminent personalities participated

• Professor Dr Stephen McMahon AO, Director & Co-Founder of the George Institute for Global Health, Sydney

• Professor Jeremy R Chapman AO, University of Sydney, Deputy Chair of the Western Sydney Local Health District, Chair WSLHD Research Development Committee

• Tanya Spisbah, Director, Australia India Institute, Delhi

• Dr Christy Fernandez IAS, Chairman Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation. Former Secretary to the President of India.

• Dr V P Nair, Healthcare Professional from Singapore, and a renowned World Malayalee 

  • Barbara Ward – Founder and Managing Director of Impact One and Public Health Advocate

Irfan Malik, the convenor of the panel said” the war on corona is not over. This webinar is only beginning of a conversation.  Following the virtual meeting between the Australian and Indian Prime Minister it is timely now to discuss about post Covid19 opportunities, sharing best practices and identify possible collaborations in Health research and innovations

The recorded version of the event is available on the YouTube Channel.

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