Tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Public Action in Kerala’s Exemplarity

Kerala’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a public action making it an exemplar to not only the rest of the states in India but also the world as a whole. Its public action-oriented containment of the pandemic has been the outcome of multiple factors specific to the state. Despite the grave challenges confronted by the state, its experience offers new opportunities for setting a new public culture. However, the emerging opportunities and their realisation in the post-COVID-19 phase depend on an effective and visionary leadership that can translate them for the potential development of the state.

Pandemics are a disease outbreak that not only takes peoples lives but also devastates the social, economic, and political lives of people across the world. Since its beginning, humanity has tried to tackle pandemics for ensuring its survival on the earth. The current spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus emerged as one of the greatest threats to human survival in the 21st century. In India, the spike in the infected cases has devastated its economy and people at large. Many state governments are perplexed by the rising graph of the daily cases and mortality rate due to the pandemic. However, Kerala has achieved exemplary performance in dealing with the menace of COVID-19 as is evident from the lowest rate of infection, low death rate, and highest recovery rate. Its achievement has not only been appreciated by various state governments and the Government of India but also the world community. Such exemplarity demonstrated by the state in dealing with the pandemic is the culmination of various factors in which the state has invested in for over the years since its formation in 1956. These include, effective decentralised governance, mobilisation of voluntary human force, literacy and education, public health and decentralised health infrastructure, public distribution system (PDS), critical opposition, intervention of media and public auditing of civil society, deep-rooted scientific temper and public reason, civic values, solid and vibrant social capital, and vertical and horizontal political obligation.

Foresighted Public Action  

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.