Kerala health minister KK Shailaja not part of Pinarayi Vijayan's new cabinet
KK Shailaja held the health portfolio in Vijayan's previous government and was known for the contribution and efforts against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday announced the release of one of the stalwart members of the previous cabinet KK Shailaja of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in Kerala, reported news agency ANI. KK Shailaja held the health portfolio in Vijayan's previous government and was known for the contribution and efforts against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Vijayan's new cabinet is composed of 11 fresh faces. The state committee of the Marxist party chaired by senior leader Elamaram Kareem elected Vijayan to lead the party and decided to entrust Shailaja with the position of party whip, as per a statement, reported PTI. The state committee meeting of the party was held at AKG Centre.
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Shailaja gained popularity soon after the pandemic hit the country due to her rapid response to the danger of the fatal disease. By the time the first Covid-19 case arrived, on January 27, the state was already equipped with the World Health Organization's (WHO) protocol of test, trace, isolate and support. All flights into the state's international airports were halted even before the country went under the world's most strict lockdown.
She garnered major international media attention, with The Guardian calling her the 'coronavirus slayer'. The Washington Post, BBC World, and other international non-English speaking media houses are following her since the success she gained in containing the Nipah virus that hit the southern state in 2018.
Shailaja's handling of the migrant labourer issues and the start of the community kitchen programmes to ease the difficulty of the locals when the nationwide lockdown was imposed also helped her come into the global spotlight.
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"We have also been accommodating and feeding 150,000 migrant workers from neighbouring states who were trapped here by the lockdown," The Guardian reported Shailja as saying. “We fed them properly – three meals a day for six weeks," she also said.
Vijayan led the Left Front to victory in the April 6 state assembly elections. It will be the second straight term for Vijayan to govern the state.