KK Shailaja, the Health Minister of Kerala, was invited by the United Nations to participate in a panel discussion on World Public Service Day 2020, for her efforts to fight coronavirus in her state. Kerala's strategy of aggressive testing, contact tracing and quarantining helped slow the spread of the deadly virus in the state after an early spurt in cases, according to experts, and Minister KK Shailaja was even consulted by states like Maharashtra.
The UN invited Ms Shailaja to speak at a panel discussion on COVID-19.
Participated in a panel discussion of @UN on the UN Public Service Day. It was an honour to be a part of a panel that included the UN Secretary-general, Director General of @WHO (@DrTedros) & many others. We had a great conversation on the ongoing efforts against #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/h2N4xEZROk— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) June 24, 2020
On Twitter, many described KK Shailaja as the "pride of Kerala".
Proud moment for India— Sreepadchandran (@sreepadchandran) June 23, 2020
Honouring Public Servants in the COVID-19 Pandemic Response - 2020 United Nations Public Service Day, Kerala health and social justice minister Kk Shilaja Teacher as one of the speakers.#UnitedNationsPublicServiceDay#UnitedNations#kkshailajapic.twitter.com/tscFuyiXIW
The first COVID-19 case was detected in Kerala on January 31. The patient was a person who had arrived from Wuhan, the coronavirus epicenter of the world. By March, Kerala and Maharashtra had the maximum COVID-19 cases.
"What Kerala did differently at an early stage and which proved to be beneficial for the state is that we followed a strict quarantine rule of 28-days instead of 14-days for the high-risk cases. When the symptoms of the infection in the patients started doubling up that's when we started sending them to hospitals and took swab testing for COVID-19 infection instead of sending them all together, as then the chances of spreading the virus would have been more," Ms Shailaja told NDTV in April.
The Health Minister keeps in touch with the health workers through video calls.
In a normal case Nurses week and nurses day is widely celebrated in the state. This year keeping in mind the pandemic, extensive celebrations are avoided. pic.twitter.com/423IYXd0x6— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) May 12, 2020
The United Nations, every year on June 23, observes the world public service day to appreciate and pay respect to public servants across the world. The UN had started a recognition programme - the UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) in 2003, to reward the excellent work done by public servants.