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Some good news as India’s Covid R value falls sharply to 1.30 from record 2.89 on 13 January

India’s R value, an indicator of how fast infection is spreading, had hit an all-time high of 2.89 in mid-January, but now the wave shows signs of dissipating.

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New Delhi: A little more than a week after India’s R value for Covid — an indicator of how fast the infection is spreading — rose to an unprecedented 2.89, the metric has sharply reduced to 1.30, indicating that the growth of new cases has now slowed down.

In the first two weeks of January, R values had risen to unprecedented levels. At 2.89, R was the highest it had ever been over the course of the pandemic.

“The ongoing wave seems to be showing signs of dissipating, with R for India having gone down considerably from the peak value of close to 3 in early January,” Sitabhra Sinha, a researcher at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, told ThePrint. 

“Currently it is at 1.3, around what it was during April-May 2020 — when the nationwide lockdown had brought down the sharply rising trend of cases,” said Sinha, who has been tracking India’s R value since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Also read: Maharashtra’s contrasting Covid trends: Cases rise across the state, but decline in Mumbai


States and Union territories

While several states still have R values over 2, it’s now under 1 in others, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The figure in both states had been above 6 around 13 January.

Jammu and Kashmir is now reporting the highest R value of all states and Union territories at 2.59, an increase from 2.13 recorded around 13 January. 

This is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand, both of which currently have R at 2.45. While for Andhra Pradesh this value was at 2.95 around 13 January, R was at a whopping 5.17 for Uttarakhand around the same time. 

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Meanwhile, Assam, with an R of 2.27, has recorded a small increase over the past 11 days from 2.22, while R in Goa has reduced from 3.32 to 2.19. 

Kerala’s R has increased from 1.74 to 2.16. Sinha pointed out that the Omicron wave has hit Kerala later than others. with its R now hitting the highest value the state has ever seen.

Meanwhile, both Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry have reported similar sharp decreases in their R values. From  5.65 around 13 January, Madhya Pradesh’s R has decreased to 1.82. For Puducherry, R has declined from 5.36 to 1.89 since 13 January. 

In Maharashtra, too, the rate of infection has slowed, with R falling from the highest-ever value of 2.92 to 1.39 this week. From nearly 5 around January 13, Delhi’s R value has decreased to below 0.71 this week.

Major cities

Among major cities, Kolkata and Mumbai have R below 1. Kolkata’s R is currently at 0.7, a fall from 2.86 around 13 January, while Mumbai’s R is at 0.46, a decline from 2.13.

Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Chennai has a high R value of 2.15, although this is lower than the 3.9 reported mid-January. Bengaluru and Pune both have high R values at 1.52 and 1.39 respectively.

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)


Also read: Covid-19 pandemic disrupted vital cancer care. The next global health crisis awaits


 

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