New Delhi: India’s effective reproduction number (R) for Covid — a parameter that indicates how fast a disease is spreading — has further dropped to 0.92 from 0.98 since the last week, although several major cities continue to have R over 1.
R is the average number of people one sick person is likely to infect. R needs to be sustained below 1 for the epidemic to come to an end.
“The good news is that India’s R has continued to be less than 1 — as is the case with Kerala and Maharashtra, the two states having the highest number of active cases,” Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at the Indian Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, told ThePrint.
Kerala’s R was as high as 1.21 around 7 September, which decreased to 0.97 last week. This declined further to 0.89 this week.
Maharashtra’s R declined from 1.0 last week to 0.97 this week.
Among the top 10 states with the highest number of active cases, Mizoram is among the few that saw a rise in its R value — to 1.10 this week from 1.01 last week. Similarly, for Tamil Nadu, the value rose to 1.02 this week from 1.
All other states have R below 1 and are showing declining trends.
West Bengal, which showed a small rise last week to 0.99 from 0.96, has seen its R fall back to 0.96.
Cities under watch
What is worrisome is that most major cities, apart from Delhi, have R over 1.0.
The highest R among cities is that of Chennai, where the metric rose to 1.11 from last week’s 0.99.
Similarly, Bengaluru, which had R at 0.98 last week saw a rise to 1.06. Kolkata’s R rose to 1.04 this week from 1.0, while that of Pune increased to 1.04 from 0.94 last week.
Mumbai’s R was already over 1 last week — it rose further to 1.09 this week, from 1.03.
However, for Delhi, the value decreased to 0.92 this week from 0.98.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)