COVID-19 and Lessons from ‘Triple Lock’: COVID Containment Strategy of Kerala Police

Col (Dr) D.P.K. Pillay is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
Shri Vijay Sakhare is a 1996 batch Kerala Cadre Indian Police Service officer who was entrusted with the responsibilty by the Government of Kerala to implement the Triple Lock Measures in Kasargod District. He is currently serving as Inspector General in the National Investigation Agency, New Delhi.
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  • March-April 2023

    This Article reviews Kerala’s efforts to check the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) without additional expenditure or infrastructure and employing the state police forces. This was remarkable in the face of the fact that healthcare systems were stretched the world over and were struggling beyond capacity to treat the number of people affected by the virus. To add to the overstretched healthcare systems, there were reports of attacks on healthcare workers and facilities. The state of Kerala was among the first to report a coronavirus case in January 2020. Against this backdrop, Kerala’s approach to mobilize the state’s resources, particularly the police, ran counter to that of many other states and their demands for assistance and financial support from the central government. This article details how one state addressed the problem during a national and international crisis. It includes a review of Kerala’s lateral thinking and successful case studies from the field. This research provides strategic thinking and solutions that other states could potentially follow when dealing with pandemics within their borders, both today and in the future.