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COVID-19: These leaders across the country are fighting to flatten the curve

Coronavirus has infected over 8,000 people and caused over 250 deaths in India, whereas more than 18,00,000 people have contracted the virus worldwide. 

Published: 13th April 2020 05:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2020 05:44 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao, Odisha Chief Minister’s trusted aide and private secretary V Karthikeyan Pandian.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao, Odisha Chief Minister’s trusted aide and private secretary V Karthikeyan Pandian.

By Express News Service

KERALA

Nipah warrior has hands on experience

K K Shailaja, Health Minister

The Covid-19 curve in Kerala has started flattening, and the success story has a woman protagonist — Health Minister K K Shailaja. The minister, who earned kudos when Kerala successfully contained the Nipah outbreak in 2018, was prepared this time when the coronavirus struck, and she got into action quickly.

The state had a Covid control room ready six days before the first case was reported on January 30. The unassuming minister, who consults many experts before taking a crucial decision, has so far managed to keep her team one step ahead of the virus, and her department’s strategies to tackle the outbreak have made Kerala a model for other states to follow. “Preparedness is the key to effective management of the outbreak,” she told TNIE during a recent chat. Look at how the curve has been flattened:  just two new cases on Sunday.

TELANGANA

All-rounder leading fight from the front

K T Rama Rao, IT Minister

From addressing problems of the industry to dispelling myths and organising camps for stranded migrants, Information Technology Minister K T Rama Rao is leading the war against the pandemic in Telangana from the front. To try and cushion the blow to the economy, he held talks with industry leaders and urged them not to sack employees. “You take care of the livelihoods of the employees and the government will take care of your interests,” he told them the other day.

Extremely active on social media, he has contributed to creating awareness on the coronavirus. While work keeps him generally tied to Hyderabad, he does manage to squeeze out time to attend to his constituency, Siriclla, as well. With famished migrants housed in camps, KTR has visited several of them and ensured they are well fed regularly.

ANDHRA PRADESH

8 months pregnant, yet undaunted

In the present situation, people treat doctors as God. It is my duty to serve,” says Dr S Jhansi, medical officer at the Devupalli Public Healthcare Centre in Vizianagaram district. It appears natural for a doctor to say so. But Dr Jhansi is eight months into her pregnancy, the PHC is 30 km from her residence in a tribal region and the threat of coronavirus is all pervasive. Yet, she doesn’t think much of the risk she is taking. “Since there are no private clinics in Devupalli and surrounding villages, people depend solely on the PHC,” explains the doctor, who also goes on house visits to check on patients. “We shifted 10 pregnant women to PHC for delivery in the last 10 days. I found Covid-19 symptoms in about 10 people. Luckily, they tested negative,” Dr Jhansi recalls with satisfaction.

Dr S Jhansi, medical officer

ODISHA

An ace at reading the situation

V Karthikeyan Pandian

Known to manage disasters efficiently, Odisha is showing why it has bragging rights to be on top of the game. With 41 active cases and just one fatality, the state has so far been able to contain the spread by its proactive measures. The driving force behind the efficient and effective response is one man — Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s trusted aide and private secretary V Karthikeyan Pandian. Also Principal Secretary of Naveen’s pet initiative for transformation of governance, the 5T department, Pandian has been at the heart of the state’s preparation for Covid-19.

From anticipating its arrival in January and moving to stock essentials, procuring equipment and establishing dedicated hospitals with required infrastructure, Pandian and  his team were able to read the situation and strategise accordingly.

KARNATAKA

Bringing down virus load with top team

From developing projections on the possible spread of the coronovirus and managing the hotspots to putting the necessary infrastructure in place to treat patients, state health commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey has his hands full fighting the invasive pest.

Though the number of infections are gradually increasing in Karnataka — 11 positive cases were reported on Sunday — they are way below the high virus load states of Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. In the initial stage of the outbreak, the state was third highest on the national chart; it’s now down to the 11th spot.

Credit for pulling the rate down must go to Pandey and his dedicated his team in officials in the health and family welfare department. They began containment from January 30. Extensive contact tracing by a team led by him helped control the spread.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey

MADHYA PRADESH 

Proactive officers changed district’s story

While Bhopal and Indore are big coronavirus hotspots in Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur district is not, though the first positive cases in the state were reported there. Full credit for the achievement must go to the proactive work of two young officers posted there. IAS officer Bharat Yadav and IPS officer Amit Singh broke the local transmission cycle in just four days by ensuring total lockdown from March 20, four days before the nationwide lockdown was announced.

Yadav and Singh are the district collector and superintendent of police of Jabalpur, respectively. They mobilised the entire police and intelligence network for contact tracing of four patients who tested positive on March 20. Not only were the primary contacts traced in Jabalpur, they were tracked till Mandla district (132 km away) and quarantined.

Bharat Yadav, district collector

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