Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
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New Delhi: For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began in India, the effective reproduction number or R — an indicator of how fast the pandemic is spreading — reduced to its lowest ever value of 0.82.

R needs to be sustained below 1 for the epidemic to come to an end.

According to Sitabhra Sinha, researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Science in Chennai, the low value of R at the national level is almost entirely due to the improved situation in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

India’s R has been below 1 for the second consecutive week, driving down the active cases in the country.

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

It is important to note that since R is calculated based on the number of reported cases in the country, the accuracy of the value also depends on the accuracy of the data.


Also read: In this rural Karnataka belt, Covid cases are rising but tests have dipped to just 10 a day


Major states seeing downward trend

The states of Karnataka and Maharashtra currently have the highest number of active cases of Covid in the country.

For Karnataka, the R came down to 0.80 this week from last week’s 1.04. This is the lowest that R has been in the state since last November.

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

Maharashtra now has a R value of 0.76. As a result of the lockdown in the state, R has been below 1 throughout the month of May.

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

Similarly, Kerala’s R has also improved to 0.78 from 1.05 last week. The state currently has 2,59,559 active cases.

Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have R values close to 1. Last week, while Andhra Pradesh’s R was at 1.08, West Bengal’s R was 1.04.

Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and Gujarat also continue to have R below 1, Sinha told ThePrint.

“UP now has an incredibly low R value of 0.56 — its lowest R value ever. The only time that its R came this close was for a few days in early February when it was 0.59. Otherwise, even during the lull of September 2020-January 2021, it has been hovering around 0.9,” he said.

The lockdown in Delhi has also driven R down to 0.43.

Worrying trends in some states

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

The worst, though, is not over for some states. Tamil Nadu, with R at 1.22, has now overtaken Kerala to become the state with the third highest burden of active cases in the country.

Although its R relatively reduced from last week’s 1.29, active cases continue to increase in the state.

Similarly, for Odisha, R has reduced to 1.06 from 1.11 last week, but here too, active cases continue to rise.

Assam is also seeing a rise, and its R increased to 1.21 this week from last week’s 1.10.

Major cities

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

Chennai currently is the only city where R is still above 1. However, this is an improvement from last week, when its R was 1.27.

Pune’s R dropped to 0.64. However, Mumbai’s R, which continues to be less than 1, is showing a trend that’s creeping upwards, Sinha said.

Meanwhile, Kolkata and Bengaluru have R at 0.93 and 0.71 respectively.


Also read: India’s daily Covid cases fall below 2-lakh mark after over one month


 

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