- On January 30, Kerala reported India's first COVID-19 case
- As of April 15, Kerala has reported 387 positive cases of coronavirus
- Since the first case, the state government has taken lot of initiatives
New Delhi: On January 30, coronavirus made its entry in India when Kerala reported its first case. Since then a lot has happened in the country. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, about 11,000 people in India have been infected with this highly contagious infection, of which 377 people have been succumbed to COVID-19, as of April 15. Kerala was one of the second-worst affected states after Maharashtra till a few days ago. But with its alert monitoring, awareness campaign, setting up of testing centres, providing quality healthcare services and more the state has managed to flatten its curve, as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which ranks Kerala at 10 with 387 cases.
Taking another positive step in the battle against coronavirus, Kerala now has decided to turn houseboats in Alappuzha District into COVID-19 isolation wards. Speaking about the initiative, collector M Anjana said
The Alappuzha model of handling COVID-19 has been one of preparedness and prevention. In the first phase, we did this successfully, but in the second phase, we propose to have a different strategy. Though our numbers are comparatively less, we need to augment our isolation facilities.
She further added,
We have a sufficient number of facilities but in the process of augmenting the facilities, we have had extensive discussions with the houseboat owners’ association. All the houseboat owners agree with the proposal and are willing to support the district administration in this respect.
Talking about how the administration plans to take this step, she said,
By bringing them together at a single spot or at two spots we would be able to convert them as a single isolation facility. This would increase the isolation facility strength by around 1,500 to 2,000 beds.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, better known as Shailaja Teacher earlier has informed that the state has kept over 1.2 lakh beds ready to admit COVID-19 infected patients. She also notified that of these, about 5,000 are ICU beds with all necessary equipment and ventilators.
Apart from this, in the wake of disaster and the nationwide lockdown, many other positive steps have also been taken by Kerala. The state government has decided to deliver free mid-day meals to the beneficiaries even though the Anganwadi centres, schools and colleges across the state have been shut, so that the disaster does not have an impact in worsening the nutrition status of the children in Kerala.
According to the government, the 33,115 Anganwadi centres in Kerala, educating kids between the ages of 3 and 6, are delivering free mid-day meals to children at their homes, benefitting around 3.75 lakh Anganwadi kids. Moreover, the state government is also providing nutritional services to around 4.75 lakh children under 3 years of age, 2 lactating mothers and around 3 lakh pregnant women, reaching nearly 13.5 lakh people at home.
Amid the lockdown, the government has also set up community kitchens across the state to cater to the weaker sections with the aim of ensuring no one goes hungry during this time. According to the state government, they are distributing 2.5 lakh to 2.8 lakh food packets every day.