Karnataka's minister for medical education Dr K Sudhakar on Monday held an online meeting with Kerala's Health Minister KK Shailaja who has been widely praised for her handling of the pandemic in her state.
Health should be above politics, but it was still unusual for the BJP minister to reach out to the minister of the Left-led government.
"As we all know, Kerala has set an example in handling the COVID disease in terms of mortality rate - which has really impressed me. So I had requested a video meeting with the honourable Health Minister of Kerala. I wanted to understand their best practices. They were kind enough to agree and we had a very fruitful meeting. We exchanged best practices. And since they had experience of handling prior pandemic of Nipah - so they were exchanging how robust their public health system is," Dr Sudhakar said.
Ms Shailaja tweeted:
Attended a video conference with Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka's Minister for Medical Education regarding Kerala's response to Covid 19. We discussed a range of points including testing, training, safety precautions, home quarantines, preparation of isolation wards and future actions. pic.twitter.com/LQlcC8ZUT6— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) May 11, 2020
He remarked that Kerala has emerged as a model for India and the world in the figh against Covid19. He also lauded Kerala's public healthcare and primary health system— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) May 11, 2020
Dr Sudhakar, a medical professional himself, said it was essential that patients seek treatment early.
"Their (Kerala's) patients have alerted early and admitted voluntarily. Unfortunately in our state, the deaths that have happened, they have all come at the last hour. So it is humanly impossible for any system to save those lives," he said.
The two ministers discussed the steps adopted for tracing, testing and treatment of the disease, the outcome, and measures to be taken to address the challenges following easing of lockdown restrictions, an official statement said after the 50-minute conversation
The two ministers agreed to have regular dialogue to exchange information on disease control and quality treatment for patients.
Karnataka registered 14 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, taking its total to 862 including 31 deaths. Kerala, which reported India's first coronavirus case in late January, has registered 512 cases and just four deaths. The state has drawn international attention for managing to curb the spread of the deadly disease.