International

Ranil Wickremesinghe lauds Kerala Health Minister’s efforts in letter

Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has written to Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, lauding her leadership in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has written to Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, lauding her leadership in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.   | Photo Credit: File

“As the Minister of Health of Kerala, you have demonstrated that effective disease control is possible even though the resources are limited,” the former Sri Lankan Prime Minister wrote.

Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has written to Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, lauding her leadership in “responding proactively and boldly” in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter dated May 18, 2020, Mr. Wickremesinghe said: “As the Minister of Health of Kerala, you have demonstrated that effective disease control is possible even though the resources are limited.”

Mr. Wickremesinghe said the ‘Kerala model’ in handling contagious diseases has succeeded, offering the rest of the world “many best practices”, including Kerala’s priority for conducting tests on highly vulnerable groups such as health workers, police and volunteers.

“The extensive testing, including setting up of testing booths and effective identification of potential patients, resulted in having only four deaths out of a 35-million population, so far, the best in the region,” the former PM and Leader of the United National Party observed. “Your leadership and efforts deserve appreciation in a context where most of the countries in the world are still struggling to contain the deadly virus,” he told Ms. Shailaja.

In an interview to The Hindu in April, Mr. Wickremesinghe underscored the need for a regional, humanitarian response to COVID-19. Speaking of collaborations in that context, he noted: “We [Sri Lanka], for instance, have a good public health system. So does Kerala. We can work together on that.”

News reports in the international media of Kerala’s effective strategy, and particularly Ms. Shailaja’s leadership, in effectively containing COVID-19 have been widely shared by Sri Lankans in the past few weeks. Many posted The Guardian’s profile of the “rock star Health Minister” on their social media pages.

Sri Lanka’s public health officials and the military are leading the country’s efforts in combating the deadly pandemic. After about two months in lockdown, Sri Lanka is gradually opening up the country, with new regulations for public movement, allocating specific days to citizens, based on their national identity card numbers. Banks and stores, including supermarkets, are following health precautions while restricting the number of persons using their facility at a time.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Sri Lanka has reported 992 COVID-19 positive cases, 569 recoveries and nine deaths.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:06:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/ranil-wickremesinghe-lauds-kerala-health-ministers-efforts-in-letter/article31623160.ece

Next Story