The Covid-19 epidemic revealed very big differences between countries in the strategy to fight the global coronavirus epidemic. Several Asian countries in particular stood out, including the Indian Union with 1 billion 200 million inhabitants, a federal republic made up of twenty-nine states.
One in particular has been praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and various world governments: Kerala.
A state in southwest India with a population of 38 million, Kerala is ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Today its health system is recognized as robust. This state has the highest life expectancy in India, the lowest infant mortality rate and is the most literate (95%) while being one of the poorest states in the country. What are the reasons for this? Since the 1960s Kerala has been ruled by two main parties: the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress Party. The current political authorities have been elected since May 2016. In order to control the pandemic, they created a central control office and 14 offices in the various districts. When the first case was discovered in the state, the measures recommended by the WHO had already been adopted, namely tests, physical distancing, isolation and support (especially financial) of those infected. When a passenger arrived from China, their temperature was immediately taken. If he had a fever, he was immediately sent to the nearest hospital and the rest of the passengers were quarantined. During the peak of the pandemic, 170,000 people were quarantined. To be able to implement these measures in every village in the country, the authorities rely on municipal councils made up of elected officials who represent the lowest level in the government structure of India.
Each village has a primary health center and there are hospitals at each administrative level as well as 10 medical universities across the state. Since the late 1950s, a land reform has been carried out, as well as the decentralization of the public health system together with investment in education. According to Kerala’s Minister of Health, KK Shailaja, the high level of literacy has helped people understand why they should be in quarantine. "The municipal councils were responsible for carrying out and supervising mass quarantine with the consent of the population".