A health worker conducts Covid-19 RAT test at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, as coronavirus cases surge across the national capital, in New Delhi Wednesday, on 4 November | PTI
A health worker conducts Covid-19 rapid antigen test at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal in New Delhi | PTI

New Delhi: India’s effective reproduction number (R) for Covid-19, which is an indicator of how fast an infection spreads, increased to 0.90, a week after the value dropped to 0.86 —which had been the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.

R value represents the number of people one patient can infect. R value below 1 means the number of active cases are declining.

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Several states with high numbers of active cases saw a rise in the R value since last week, but the situation in Kerala is particularly worrying.

“For the first time after the pandemic began, Maharashtra does not occupy the top spot in active cases. Instead, Kerala now leads with the highest number of active cases,” Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai who has been tracking R value for India, told ThePrint.

Kerala’s R value has been rising for the last three weeks. It increased to 1.04 this week from 0.95 last week. Kerala is the only state with R value above 1.

Sinha pointed out that the state needs to implement corrective measures to arrest the spread of the disease.

R value increases in UP, Chhattisgarh, Kolkata

Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka also saw a rise in their respective R values, although they managed to stay below 1.

For Uttar Pradesh, the R value rose to 0.92 this week from 0.86 last week. In Chhattisgarh, the R was 0.87 last week, which increased to 0.90 this week.

Karnataka also saw a rise in R value to 0.91 this week from 0.74 last week. The rise was drastic for Bengaluru, which saw its R value increase to 0.84 this week from 0.66 last week.

Meanwhile, Chennai’s R value increased to 1 from 0.95 last week.

For Kolkata, the R value increased to 0.83 this week from 0.81 last week.

States with drop in R value

Maharashtra, which has the second-highest number of active cases, now has R at 0.70. It was 0.71 last week.

West Bengal also saw a decline in its R value to 0.82 this week from 0.85 last week.

Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh had R at 0.93 and 0.94, respectively, last week. The values have dropped to 0.89 and 0.91 this week, respectively.

Delhi, too, has managed to bring down its R to 0.67 this week from 0.70 last week. R values for Uttarakhand and Haryana are 0.87 and 0.92, respectively.

Last week, Mumbai and Pune both had R values over 1. This week, the value has reduced to nearly 1 for Mumbai and 0.55 for Pune.

Also read: Covid ‘far more serious than flu’, death rate nearly three times higher, finds Lancet study


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