Thursday, 6 October, 2022
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India’s infection rate drops to 0.90, but West Bengal’s R crosses 1 amid Pujo festivities

West Bengal's R value rose to 1.01 this week, which is the highest among top ten states with the highest number of active cases.

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New Delhi: The overall Covid R value for India — an indicator of how fast the infection is spreading in the country — has fallen to 0.90 from 0.91 this week.

However, the R for West Bengal, where Durga Puja festivities are on in full swing, has crossed the threshold of 1.

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.

For the last several weeks, West Bengal’s R remained steady at 0.96. However, this week the figure rose to 1.01, which is the highest among top 10 states with the highest number of active cases.

The neighbouring state of Odisha, where R was 0.88 last week, also saw a rise in the R to over 1, although an exact estimate could not be made, according to Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at Institute of Mathematical Science in Chennai, who has been tracking R since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, this rise did not have an effect on the overall R for India as the infection rate of most states continue to be below 1.

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

R of most states below 1

Both Maharashtra and Kerala saw a rise in R values but the numbers continue to remain below 1. For Maharashtra, R was 0.89 last week and rose to 0.96 this week.

Meanwhile. Kerala’s infection rate rose from 0.85 last week to 0.87.

Other states with high active cases showed a downward trend.

Mizoram’s R dropped from 0.94 last week to 0.77, the lowest in over a month.

The R for Andhra Pradesh also reduced this week, from 0.85 last week to 0.83 this week.

While the numbers in metro cities are fluctuating too much for an accurate estimate of R, Sinha said the R for Kolkata is at 1.06.

Mumbai, and possibly Chennai, also have R more than one, he added.

Also read: Why tiny Mizoram has emerged as Covid hotspot with 17% positivity rate as rest of India sees drop


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