Not Just Covid, Kerala’s New Health Minister Faces a Bigger Task: Filling Globally-acclaimed Shailaja’s Shoes

Veena George, the new Health Minister of Kerala, said that the priority is on tackling the Covid crisis and are moving ahead with the Covid defence plans.

She said that the health department under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and former health minister KK Shailaja have done an excellent job. “Kerala has created a model, other States are looking at us and we are moving in the same path,” said Veena George.

She is taking over as a health minister from Shailaja who has been appreciated even internationally for how she handled the Covid and Nipah crisis. It came as a huge shock to many as Shailaja was not included in the new Cabinet. So, the challenge before the new health minister is huge.

“We have already formulated a very good plan. It was very well accepted even internationally. We are going through a lockdown, cases and test positivity rate is coming down. Oxygen consumption has come down, we are focussing on the logistics. Every local body has already started domiciliary care centres, the Covid first line and second-line treatment centres. We are again and again increasing the medical capacity.” Veena George told CNN-News18.

She added that the effect of lockdown will be seen only after 10 more days.

The minister added that there has been one death reported in the State due to mucormycosis.

The minister said, “It is not a new disease. In 2019, About 15 cases were reported. Internationally death rate is 40 per cent but in our State, in 2019 only 2 persons died. There has been a death yesterday due to mucormycosis, the person was from Nagercoil. It’s not a very serious situation here in Kerala as we have only about 13 live cases.”

She added that Kerala has created a great model and will continue in the same direction. She added that all departments have challenges but there is a very good team.

Kerala recorded about 29,673 Covid positive cases in the past 24 hours and about 142 deaths were reported. The lockdown in the State has been extended till May 30 with a triple lockdown in Malappuram district.

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