India’s first Covid-19 patient came out in Kerala. He is a student studying at Wuhan University. He returned home after spreading the virus there. Here he was admitted to Thrissur General Hospital and kept in isolation ward. 20 other people who had returned from abroad were also tested and the student was the only one who was found to be Corona positive. The Chief Minister immediately issued a statement saying that the state government has experience and the state has dealt with such cases in the past. He promised that further tests would be done to ensure that the virus does not spread from one person to another.
Kerala, located at the southern end of India, has successfully dealt with another dangerous virus called Nipah in 2018. The virus killed 17 people in the state. The government had prevented the spread of the disease by prompt and decisive action. Keralites are travelers. There is a joke that if someone goes to unmanned Arctic and Antarctica, he will find Keralites there too. The reason is simple, land in Kerala is scarce. Its geographical size ranks 23rd among the states of the country, but 13th in population, meaning there are more people and less land. The mass density here is 859 persons per square kilometer against the national average of 370. That is despite the fact that Kerala’s population growth rate is the lowest among Indian states. There are areas here where the mass density is more than 2,000 people per square kilometer.
Apart from the huge population, Kerala also faces severe challenges due to the weather. With a coastal length of 590 km, the state suffers from cyclones almost regularly. The width of the state ranges from 11 km to 121 km. Most of Kerala was underwater in pre-historic times. The name Kerala is probably derived from the word ‘kera’ (coconut) and is called God’s own home. Its picturesque beaches attract both domestic and foreign tourists. It is one of the most beloved places in India. Kerala produces many cash crops, such as rubber, cashew, etc. 97 percent of the country’s roundworm production is done here. When the people of Kerala with strong Sagar-related traditions started falling short of employment locally, they started searching for employment outside the state and other parts of the country. As a result, the economy of Kerala became dependent on those living outside,
In the 1970s and early 1980s, a large number of people were seen migrating from Kerala during their progress in the Gulf countries. Keralites send their earnings home faithfully and it has become a major factor in the development of the state’s economy. The money coming from outside contributes more than a fifth of the state’s gross domestic product. In 2015, the amount of money that NRIs of Kerala sent to India was one-sixth of the total money sent by Indians living abroad. No wonder traveling has become the nature of the people of Kerala. This first state, ruled by the communist government after independence, used the funds sent by the migrants to develop its ‘Kerala model’, with great emphasis on social development. Kerala tops India in Human Development Index or HDI rank. This state primary education,
Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India. Its life expectancy also ranks first. However, due to low population growth rate, the proportion of old people has increased here. Rural and urban poverty is very low here. Probably due to low urban poverty, Covid-19 has not seen such a migration here, As seen after the announcement of the 21-day lockdown in the rest of the country. Kerala’s high literacy rate and its progressive social groups make it one of the politically most conscious states of India. Newspapers and television stations in the state have the highest density and are used by people to hold elected representatives accountable. Going beyond political affiliation, the citizens here openly criticize their leaders for any mistake. Although Kerala also has problems. Kerala ranks first in terms of diabetes patients in the country. High morbidity and lowest birth rate are its burdens. Waterborne diseases are common in the state, as clean drinking water and drainage system is still a challenge here.
Kerala is also known worldwide for people with nursing skills. Nurses are the backbone of the state’s Christian community. The first batch of 6,000 nurses went to Germany in 1960. Now they are spread across the Gulf countries. There he has also faced bullets and bombs, yet he has done exemplary work. Many nurses returned to India during the Gulf War in 1991, but immediately returned as the situation improved. A few years ago, many nurses abducted during the Libyan war were rescued, despite their desire to return. Some of them even went to war-torn Afghanistan.
A few years ago an Indian Roman Catholic priest was abducted by the Taliban. He was saved by the government through diplomatic efforts. Worse, two years ago a group from Kerala went missing and was found in an IS camp in Afghanistan. Recently, a gurdwara in Afghanistan was attacked by IS and one of the attackers is said to have gone from Kerala.