A virus, social democracy, and dividends for Kerala

Patrick Heller in The Hindu:

The global coronavirus pandemic is a natural, albeit brutal experiment. Just about every part of the world has been impacted and the range of responses we are seeing at the national and subnational levels reveal not only existing inequalities but also the political and institutional capacity of governments to respond. Nowhere is this more so true than in India. The national government ordered a lockdown but it is States that are actually implementing measures, both in containing the spread and addressing the welfare consequences of the lockdown. A number of States have been especially proactive, none more so than Kerala.

Flattening the curve and how

Though Kerala was the first State with a recorded case of coronavirus and once led the country in active cases, it now ranks 10th of all States and the total number of active cases (in a State that has done the most aggressive testing in India) has been declining for over a week and is now below the number of recovered cases. Given Kerala’s population density, deep connections to the global economy and the high international mobility of its citizens, it was primed to be a hotspot. Yet not only has the State flattened the curve but it also rolled out a comprehensive ₹20,000 crore economic package before the Centre even declared the lockdown. Why does Kerala stand out in India and internationally?

More here.