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India’s R drops to 1.11 as several states see slowdown in Covid spread

Last week, R had shot up to 1.19 from 0.83 the week before, raising fears that the third coronavirus wave had started.

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New Delhi: India’s effective reproduction number (R) for Covid-19 this week has dipped  to 1.11 from 1.19 as several key states see a slowdown in the spread of the disease.

An indicator of how fast the infection is spreading, R essentially represents the average number of people who can catch the virus from an infected person. R should be sustained below 1 for the pandemic to come to an end.

As of Tuesday, India recorded 3,92,864 active Covid-19 cases. Last week, R had shot up to 1.19 from 0.83 the week before, raising fears that the third coronavirus wave had started.

However, the R over the past week indicates a slowdown, although it is yet to fall and stay below 1.

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Kerala, which currently has the highest number of active cases, has a high R value of 1.21. However, this is lower from last week’s 1.33.

Maharashtra, where R had shot up to 1.06 last week, also saw a slowdown in the spread of infections, with R now very close to 1.

The highest R value is currently that of Puducherry, at 1.38. However, the union territory currently has less than 1,000 active cases, which means that the high R values may not translate to a significantly high number of cases.

Mizoram, which at 1.36 had the highest R value last week, is now at 1.28.

In Jammu & Kashmir, R reduced to 1.07, from last week’s 1.25.

Andhra Pradesh also showed a declining trend, with R coming down to 1.04 from 1.09.

Cause for concern

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

What is concerning is that most states which had R below 1 last week, are now seeing an increasing trend. While the value is still below 1, they are much closer to 1 than last week.

For example, in Odisha, R increased to 0.97 from 0.88. Similarly, Meghalaya, where R was 0.84 last week, now has R at 0.96. Assam’s R increased to 0.92 from 0.87 last week.

Karnataka’s R reduced from 0.94 to 0.92, while Telangana, Manipur and Tamil Nadu all have R at 0.94. West Bengal’s R has remained 0.96 for several weeks now.

Major cities

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Delhi’s R increased to 1.05 from nearly 1 last week. R in Delhi went over 1 for the first time in a month. Similarly, Bengaluru’s R increased to 1.01 from 0.96, while that of Mumbai rose to 1.02 from 0.95.

Kolkata and Pune saw small dips in their R values, although both continue to have R over 1. For Kolkata, the R is 1.11 as opposed to last week’s 1.12. For Pune, R dipped to 1.03 from 1.05 last week. Chennai’s R has remained at 0.91, same as last week.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)


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