Kerala boatman sells food during coronavirus
A boatman sells essential food items including food grains, vegetables and fruits, to families in Alappuzha, Kerala. Image Credit: ANI

Thiruvananthapuram: Accolades have poured in for the Kerala government for its efforts to flatten the curve of coronavirus outbreak. Like the state’s legacy strengths in education and health care where private initiatives go hand in hand with government investment, the fight against Covid-19 too has seen a similar partnership.

Despite being one of the earliest to be hit by coronavirus in India, Kerala’s case numbers have been limited to 450, with four fatalities.

From corporates to religious institutions to even a soccer club, private initiatives have helped the state combat the spread of the virus as well as offer succour to those economically or socially affected by the situation.

In Aikaranad panchayat near Kolenchery, spices and oleoresins major Synthite group is reaching out to most of the 6,500 households in the panchayat, with kits that have sanitisers, curry powders made by one of the group’s divisions, and pamphlets that give awareness about the disease and protective measures.

Synthite’s director for domestic operations in China, Jacob Ninan had had a first-hand feel of how the virus first affected China, and the protective measures that country took. Ninan, who is based in Beijing told Gulf News that he had been able to bring the learnings in China to the group’s efforts in Aikaranad to combat the spread of the virus. Synthite contributed Rs10 million (Dh481,295) to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, and has chalked out a six-month Covid-19 prevention plan for the local panchayat (village council).

In the Malabar region, leading baby care products manufacturers, Popees Baby Care fixed a problem faced at government hospitals for newborns – the lack of dresses, because textile shops are shut owing to the lockdown.

50,000 kits

“On an average, about 12,800 children are born in government hospitals across Kerala each month, and they all need dresses. We have supplied 50,000 kits carrying three sets of dresses each to the state government, to be provided to newborn babies,” Shaju Thomas, managing director of Popees told Gulf News.

Malappuram-based Popees also used the services of 850 migrant labourers who work for the company to supply 1.4 million masks free of cost to hospitals and government departments.

The Kerala Blasters soccer club owned by Blasters Sports Ventures donated 100,000 Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to the state government at the initiative of the club’s co-owner Nimmagadda Prasad. Kerala Blasters E player Zakeer Mundampara added another angle to the club’s concern for Covid-19 patients when he offered his two-storey residence at Areekode for patient care.