India's Covid R-value dropped between January 7 and 13: 5 points

R-value rose as high as 4 in the first week of January, IIT Madras report said. An R-value of 4 means one infected person can spread the infection to four. 
Bengaluru's Majestic Circle during the weekend curfew on Sunday. (PTI)
Bengaluru's Majestic Circle during the weekend curfew on Sunday. (PTI)
Published on Jan 16, 2022 04:43 PM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

The latest analysis of India's Covid R-value by IIT Madras has revealed that the value dropped between January 7 and 13 in comparison with the previous weeks. R-value is a crucial parameter to track the movement of the pandemic curve. Going by the latest R-value, the pandemic situation has bettered in the second week of January, compared to the first week.

R-value indicates the transmissibility of the virus. If the value is over 1, it is considered pandemic as a value above 1 means one infected person can spread the virus to more than one person. In the past week, the R-value was 2.2, which is still high as this value means 100 infected people can infect 220 people, which is more than double.

Here are 5 things to know about India's present R-value and its implications:

1. The R-value of Mumbai was 1.3, Delhi 2.5, Chennai 2.4 and Kolkata 1.6 in the second week of January. Researchers said the R-value was close to 4 in the first week.

2. In the last week of December, the R-value was close to 2.9.

3. R-value is different for different cities and it depends on transmissibility probability, contact rate and expected time interval in which infection can happen.

4. For the past few days, the 24-hour Covid tally of metro cities has been moving towards stabilisation. After breaching the 20,000-mark, Mumbai's daily infection fell to 11,000 and is expected to dip below 10,000 on Sunday. Delhi health minister Satyandra Jain has also been claiming that the Covid-19 situation in the Capital is moving towards stabilisation. However, the dip in the number of daily cases could be attributed to the decrease in the number of testing. But going by the R-value, it can be said that the pandemic situation has been improving.

5. The situation is different for districts, which saw the surge late.

The ongoing pandemic has been driven by Omicron, the latest variant of Covid. Scientists projected a short and sharp spike of the wave which will recede fast, depending on immunity and vaccination coverage.

(With PTI inputs)

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