India’s R value steady at 0.82, but Maharashtra, Kerala see rise in Covid infection rates – ThePrint


Illustration: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint


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New Delhi: India’s Covid-19 effective reproduction number or R value — an indicator of how fast the epidemic is spreading — continues to be 0.82, the same as last week.

However, the rate of decline in active cases has slowed in Maharashtra and Kerala, Sitabra Sinha, a researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai told ThePrint.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on this, hope this is not the beginning of another spike,” Sinha said.

R describes how many people one Covid-19 patient can infect. R should be sustained below one for active cases to fall and the epidemic to come to an end.

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

For India, the value has been below 1 for three weeks. However, active cases in the country are still higher than the peak of the last Covid wave. As of Tuesday India has 18,95,520 active cases.

R value for states

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Both Assam and Tamil Nadu had R above 1 last week, but have now seen it come close to 1.

All other states currently have R below 1.

However, the R value of Maharashtra and Kerala registered an increase even though the value is still less than 1, Sinha said.

“This is possibly because of the worsening situation in Mumbai whose R value again grew back to 1,” he added.

For Maharashtra, R increased to 0.84 this week from last week’s 0.76. Similarly, for Kerala, R increased to 0.89 this week from 0.78 last week.

Odisha’s R was 1.06 last week, which has reduced to 0.81 this week.

Uttar Pradesh and Delhi also saw an increase in their R, although the value is below 1.

For UP, the value increased to 0.61 from 0.56. For Delhi, the value increased to 0.55 this week from 0.43 last week.

West Bengal now has R at 0.74. Last week, Sinha had said the R value for the state was close to 1, but he did not have a robust estimate with the available data.

Major cities

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Mumbai’s R value is now above 1, although a robust estimate was not possible with the available data. This may be a cause for concern if numbers in the city start rising again.

For Pune, R increased to 0.85 this week from 0.64 last week.

For Chennai, R dropped to 0.76 this week. The value was over 1 last week. Bengaluru’s R remains 0.72, nearly the same as last week.

For Kolkata, R has fallen to 0.59 this week from 0.93 last week.

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