According to experts, the R-value, or reproductive number, for COVID-19 in India declined from 1.17 at the end of August to 0.92 in mid-September. This is an indication that the infection’s spread across the country has slowed down.
Read further for details.
Spread of Virus Slowing, R-Value Falls
The COVID-19 R-value is witnessing a decline after the devastating second wave earlier this year. During the second wave, India saw its hospitals and health facilities swamped with patients. Although some major cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru are still recording R-value over 1, the same in Delhi and Pune remains below 1.
A team of experts led by Sitabhra Sinha at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai calculates the R-value for India.
“The good news is that India’s R-value has remained less than 1, as has Kerala and Maharashtra, the two states with the biggest number of active cases,” he was cited as saying by PTI.
What is R-Value?
The R-value is a method of assessing the capacity of coronavirus or any other disease to spread. It is the average number of people an infected person will transmit the virus to. For instance, in people without immunity, the R-value for measles is 15. This indicates that one person will infect 15 people on average.
If the spread of the novel coronavirus is not countered, it will have a reproduction number of roughly three.
Dangers Associated with R-Value Above 1
If the R-value is greater than one, the number of infected patients will continue to grow. If the number is lower, however, the disease will eventually stop spreading. This is because there won’t be enough new persons carrying the infection to keep the outbreak going.
R-Value during the Second COVID-19 Wave in India
Between 9 March and 21 April, when the second wave was at its peak, the R-value throughout the country was calculated to be 1.37.
It fell to 1.18 between April 24 and May 1, and then to 1.10 between April 29 and May 7, according to PTI.
According to the Ministry of Health, the recovery rate is currently at 97.75 percent.
For the past 88 days, the weekly positivity rate has been less than 3% at a steady 2.08 percent.
Read: Is India entering the Endemic stage of COVID-19?