UN honours Health Minister KK Shailaja; lauds Kerala in fight against COVID-19
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala was among the few countries honoured for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic when the United Nations celebrated the Public Service Day on June 23. Health Minister K K Shailaja was the lone speaker to be invited from India. The event was organised to honour the public servants who have been working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The function, held on a virtual platform, saw the participation of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and other top UN dignitaries including Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the General Assembly, HE Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organisation, Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Chin Young, Minister of Interior and Safety, Republic of Korea, Dr In-Jae Lee, Deputy Minister of the Interior and Safety, Republic of Korea, Jim Campbell, Director, Health Workforce Department WHO, Annette Kennedy, President of International Council of Nurses, and Rosa Pavenelli, General Secretary, Public Services International.
On the occasion, Minister presented the Kerala model of tackling the coronavirus. She noted that the experiences of tackling Nipah virus and the two floods - 2018 and 2019 - where the health sector played a crucial role, all helped in tackling COVID -19 timely.
"Right from the time when COVID cases got reported in Wuhan, Kerala got on track with WHO and followed every standard operating protocols and international norms. In the first phase only three cases were reported and we successfully fought against the pandemic. During the second and third phase, measures were strengthened to trace the source, quarantine, test, isolate and reverse quarantine to check the spread, protecting the vulnerable like pregnant women, children, elderly and other disease-effected people. The ‘Break the Chain’ campaign launched by Kerala gained wide acceptance. This also helped in keeping the contact spread rate to below 12.5 per cent and the mortality rate to 0.6 per cent," she said.