New York may be Big Apple, but Kerala is God’s Own Country
New York is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, with a population of more than half of that of Kerala. The US city had enough time to combat the corona virus but it couldn’t handle the health crisis the way Kerala managed, though the south Indian state was affected pretty early by the rampaging pandemic.
The Covid-19 virus first came to Kerala through a medical student who came from Wuhan, and that happened a full one month before the virus hit New York. Yet, New York couldn’t handle the virus like Kerala did. And that’s a testimony to Kerala’s superior healthcare standards and the state government’s determination to keep the disease at bay.
The first Covid case was reported in Kerala on January 30. The state now has 286 cases but New York which reported its first Covid case a month later on March 1 has 92,381 cases. While only two patients died in Kerala, a staggering 2,373 people died in New York due to the pandemic.
The situation should act as an eye-opener for many. While the healthcare standards of Europe and the US are supposed to be superior, they have been hit hard by the spread of the virus, exposing their lack of preparedness. Kerala on the other hand has been able to control the menace to a great extent, due to the robust health care system in the state.
Tourists have been ably assisted by the government machinery to either fly back, extend their stay or get access to medicines and food. The tourism department, associations like ATTOI, the police, hospitals, travel agents and hotels have all come together in unison to help the tourists stranded in India.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, health minister KK Shailaja, tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran, and tourism secretary Rani George IAS have been at the forefront, fighting the menace with clear communication and appropriate action on a daily basis. French, Russian and German contingents have been successfully repatriated thanks to the joint effort of all the stakeholders. In fact, some of the tourists have gone on record to state that they felt safer in Kerala than probably even in their country of origin during this period.
As a result, Kerala’s tourism brand has definitely got a lift from the way in which guests have been treated during this period. This phase serves as a timely reminder that investments into healthcare are of immense value, something that many other governments forget in the long run.