In a moment for pride for India as Kerala’s health minister KK Shailaja was listed at the number one position of the recently released list of “The wold’s top 50 thinkers 2020,” in UK’s Prospect Magazine.
The magazine stated that the list focused on thinkers in the ‘COVID-19 age’ and accordingly 20,000 votes were cast and counted in a public ballot. The top 50 selected members include philosophers, writers, scientists, artists, and intellectuals. Shailaja is followed by Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, and Marina Tabassum an architect.
The magazine, praising her work wrote, “When COVID-19 was still ‘a China story’ in January, she not only accurately foresaw its inevitable arrival but also fully grasped the implications.”
The magazine also wrote about how swiftly the Kerala health minister implemented the WHO’s “test, trace and isolation” drill. Shailaja was also able to contain the virus by tracing the first Chinese flights arriving in India. She also ensured “rigorous surveillance and quarantine” when the virus returned.
The minister attained global recognition for Kerala’s successful model of COVID-19 management and flattening of the virus transmission curve during the initial phase of the disease outbreak. The Guardian a UK newspaper has even hailed the minister as ‘coronavirus slayer’ and rock star health minister’ in one of its articles.
Even the United Nations invited her to speak at an event organised to honor the public servants who have been working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.