Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Even as India’s active Covid caseload hit its lowest since March 2020 — it was 1,83,118 Tuesday — the R value, which is a measure of the rate of spread of the disease, has remained steady since last week at 0.90. The number remains below 1 not just nationally, but also in the top 10 states with the most number of active cases.

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

However, some of the cities — including Kolkata, which is fresh out of fervent Durga Puja festivities — are still showing a rising number of active cases. Kolkata’s R value stands at 1.06 (estimated over 29 September-18 October), Bengaluru is at 1.04 (estimated over 13-18 October), Delhi stands at 0.90 (estimated over 9-18 October), Pune is at 0.96 (estimated over 9-18 October) and Chennai is at 0.98 (estimated over 13-18 October).

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

R, or effective reproduction number, is the average number of people who are likely to get infected from one sick person. R needs to be below 1 for an epidemic to come to an end. These figures have been calculated by Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, who has been tracking R value since the beginning of the pandemic.

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, the Press Information Bureau said: “The active caseload has fallen below two lakh mark and is presently at 1,83,118, which is now lowest since March 2020. Active cases presently constitute 0.54 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.”

Also read: Govt gets ready to celebrate 100-cr vaccine doses, but October numbers are lowest since July

R value varies in states

While Kerala still accounts for the most active cases in the country, the epidemic is receding there too. The R value of the state stood at 0.86 for the 25 September-18 October period, while Maharashtra was at 0.94 (estimated over 21 September-18 October).

In West Bengal the R value for 13-18 October was 0.97, while in Odisha — which also saw Durga Puja celebrations — the figure stood at 0.90 (estimated over the 15-18 October period). Both numbers have come down from the earlier figures of 1.01 and more than 1, respectively (exact calculations not available).

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

However, the real effects of the festival, which was celebrated between 11-15 October in both states, may still take some time to show as the incubation period of the SARS-CoV2 virus could be as long as 14 days. Calculated over 13-17 October, the R value in Assam stood at 0.84.

Among states, the highest R value was of Karnataka, where it came to 0.98 when calculated over the 17-18 October period.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Now, a Covid marker that can predict severity of infection even before it is contracted


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