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India’s R value continues downward trend to settle at 0.90 this week, Delhi goes above 1

Among metro cities, Kolkata and Delhi have R values above 1. Meanwhile, Kerala, which has a high active caseload, has managed to bring its value to 0.94 from 1.08 last week.

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New Delhi: India’s R value — a key parameter to measure the rate of an infection’s spread — has decreased further this week to the lowest ever value of 0.90. Last week it measured 0.92.

The value has remained below 1 since 18 September.

R value represents the number of people one patient can infect. A value below 1 indicates that the number of active cases is declining.

According to Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, R continues to be below 1 because almost all of the worst-affected states with the highest active Covid cases also have R values below 1.

Kerala, which until last week presented a worrying picture, has managed to bring its R value under 1. The R for Kerala now stands at 0.94 as opposed to 1.08 last week.

Once hailed for managing Covid-19 efficiently, the state recently saw its active caseload rise to the third highest in the country as Onam festivities pushed the R value of the state to one of the highest.

Sinha had earlier said that if R value of Kerala was not brought down, its case count could become similar to Maharashtra — and India’s overall R could end up crossing 1.

Sometime between 11 and 17 October, Kerala’s R value dropped below 1, Sinha told ThePrint.

“Let’s hope this is a sustained trend,” he said.

Last week, Rajasthan had also emerged as a state of concern as its R value had been above 1 for almost a month due to an increase in case numbers.

However, this week, Rajasthan too manage to bring its R value down to 0.96.


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States with increasing R value

What remains worrying is that ahead of the Durga Puja festival, West Bengal’s R value has not only remained above 1, but even increased to 1.09 this week from 1.07 last week.

Meanwhile, Delhi — which had an R value under 1 since 18 September — has once again seen the number cross the safe zone.

Delhi’s R value stands at 1.08 this week, having risen from 0.94 last week. The week before, the R value had fallen to 0.82.

Maharashtra, the state having the highest number of active cases, has also seen a small increase in its R value, increasing to 0.88 this week from 0.84 last week.

Similarly, Karnataka — the state with the second highest number of active Covid-19 cases — saw an increase to 0.91 this week from 0.89 last week.

Assam also saw an increase to 0.91 this week from 0.86 last week.

Other high burden states

Most other states with a high number of active cases are showing a downward trend in their R values.

For Tamil Nadu, it decreased to 0.88 this week from 0.97 last week. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh also saw a dip, to 0.83 this week from 0.87 last week.

Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Odisha are other states that saw a dip as well. For Chhattisgarh the value reduced to 0.90 from 0.99, for Telangana it went to 0.85 from 0.88, and for Odisha, the value reduced to 0.84 this week from 0.87 last week.

Uttar Pradesh has maintained the same R value of 0.87 for the last two weeks.

Major metros

Among the metros, Kolkata is the only city (apart from Delhi) with an R value above 1.

Kolkata’s value decreased marginally to 1.10 this week from 1.11 last week. In Mumbai, it dipped to 0.81 this week from 0.90 last week.

Both Bengaluru and Chennai saw their R values dip below 1. For Bengaluru, it decreased to 0.97 from last week’s 1.16. For Chennai, it went down to 0.87 from 1.06 last week.


Also read: India could have bigger Covid peak next month if mask, social distancing rules aren’t followed


 

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