HONOUR ..Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja named ‘Top Thinker 2020’ by top British magazine, Prospect


TVM: Prominent British magazine, Prospect, has named Kerala’s celebrated health minister KK Shailaja as the ‘Top Thinker 2020’ in a worldwide survey of outstanding personalities for this year. Notably, the UN had specially invited Shailaja Teacher to speak at an event it held in honour of public servants working on the frontlines of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prospect magazine has selected altogether 50 ‘Top Thinkers 2020’, to compile a list that includes philosophers, intellectuals, artists, scientists and writers through the twin mechanisms of voting by the readers and based on the opinion of the panel of experts and editors.

While Shailaja topped the list, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is ranked as Number 2 on the list. In the list of 50, Shailaja is the only Indian to have found a place.

“So deft was her handling of a 2018 outbreak of the deadly Nipah disease that it was commemorated in a film, Virus,” the magazine stated in praise of the Kerala health minister.s 

Shailaja is a teacher by profession, from where she rose in ranks in the Communist Party (Marxist) to become the state’s health minister. The handling of the Covid-19 virus spread since March this year saw the best out of Shailaja as health minister, who, under the able leadership of Communist chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan kept the pandemic’s spread in the state firmly under control. The death rate in the state too on the Covid count is too low at over 250.

The magazine said that more than 20,000 votes were cast and counted to finalise the list. “Shailaja Teacher was the right woman in the right place in 2020,” it said.

“When Covid-10 was still a China story in January, she not only accurately foresaw its inevitable arrival, but also fully grasped the implications. She rapidly got the WHO’s full ‘test, trace and isolate’ drill implemented in the state and brought crucial time by getting  a grip of the airports, and containing the first covid cases to arrive on Chinese flights,” the magazine noted.

Earlier, in a profusion of praise, the revered British newspaper, The Guardian’ also hailed KK Shailaja Teacher with encomiums like ‘Coronavirus Slayer’ and ‘Rock Star Health Minister.’ IHN-NN


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