Centre warns states against rising 'R' factor of Covid-19. What is this factor?
The Centre, in its recent communications to states, has been pointing out to an increase in R factor of Covid-19, urging the states to practice caution. R factor refers to the reproduction rate which denotes the number of people getting infected by one infected person. If the value of the R factor is above 1, it means that one infected person can spread the infection to more than one person which, as the health ministry explained, establishes that the infection is spreading.
Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Wednesday wrote to all states and Union territories saying that an increase in the R factor in some states is a matter of concern.
"You may be aware that any increase in R factor above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of Covid-19. Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be made responsible for ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour in all crowded places...," the letter said.
What is the present R factor?
According to reports, Kerala and northeast states have an increased R factor, which is why the decline in cases has become sluggish.
According to a PTI report, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai has come up with a study on this R factor and found that Kerala, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura are an increase in this factor.
In June end, the R factor was 0.88 and in the middle of May, it was 0.78.
What was the R factor during the peak of the second wave?
According to the Institute of Mathematical Sciences finding, the R-value was 1.37 between March 9 and April 21. Between April 24 and May 1, it was 1.18, and then from April 29 to May 7, it was 1.10. Since then the value was decreasing.
R-value and the spread of the virus
Lockdown and lockdown-like restrictions keep this value under check. If people do not go out, an infected person can't spread the infection. Hence, the R-value was low in May though 2nd wave was raging at that time. Many of the states were under strict lockdown at that time.
What are the R-values in these states?
According to this institute, Kerala has an R-value of 1.10. The R-value in Manipur is 1.07, Meghalaya 0.92, Tripura 1.15, Mizoram 0.86m Arunachal Pradesh 1.14, Sikkim 0.88, and Assam 0.86.