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India’s COVID Situation Deteriorating Again? Increasing ‘R’ Value Hints At Spike in Cases. Here’s Why is it Threatening?

4th Wave of Coronavirus: R, also called effective reproduction number, suggests the mean number of other people who will catch the infection from a single infected person. Thus a value of 1 indicates every infected person will likely infect another.

Updated: April 25, 2022 2:23 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

Covid 4th wave Latest Update
Covid 4th wave Latest Update

New Delhi: It seems the Covid-19 pandemic is rearing its head again in India as the R-value for coronavirus which denotes the speed at which the infection is spreading, has gone up for the country. Researchers at the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) estimated that India’s effective reproduction number (R) for Covid has increased to over one for the first time since January. The country’s R-value, steadily increased over the last few weeks—it was 1.07 for the week between April 12 and 18, said Sitabhra Sinha, the mathematician, who has been tracking R for India since the beginning of the pandemic. In the preceding April 5-11 week, it was 0.93. The last time the R was above 1 was in the week between January 16-22, when the value was 1.28.

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What is R-Value? 

R, also called effective reproduction number, suggests the mean number of other people who will catch the infection from a single infected person. Thus a value of 1 indicates every infected person will likely infect another. Highly communicable diseases like measles have very high R-values— often cited at 12-18. Last year in March, BBC had reported that the coronavirus has an R-value of around 3.

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 Why R-Value Over 1 Is Dangerous? 

An R-value over 1 indicates that the number of active cases has increased. R should be contained below 1 to control the pandemic, believe experts. An R number lower than 1 indicates that the disease will stop spreading as there aren’t enough people being infected to sustain the flurry. The R-value this year was highest between January 1-10, reaching 2.98 when the Omicron variant of coronavirus caused the third wave in India.

Cities Which Are Showing R-Value Above 1 

As per Sinha, the increase in R-value is not just because of Delhi, but also Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Below is the full list of cities where R-Value is above 1.

  • Delhi- R-value above 2 (2.12 to be specific)
  • Uttar Pradesh- R-value 2.12
  • Mumbai- R-value 1.18
  • Bengaluru- R-value 1.04
  • Chennai – R-value above 1. 04
  • Haryana- R Value 1.70

Are Cases Rising In India? 

India has been witnessing a spurt in new infections over the past week. With 2,067 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,30,47,594 (4.3 crore) while active cases increased to 12,340. An increase of 480 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.49 per cent and the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 0.38 per cent, the health ministry data showed.
On Tuesday, Delhi recorded a nearly 26 per cent jump in fresh Covid cases but positivity rate dropped to 4.42 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department on Tuesday.

Following the rise in COVID cases, several states and UTs have made wearing face masks mandatory and warned the violators of stringent action, including hefty fines. the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has reportedly decided to impose a fine of Rs 500 for not wearing face masks in the national capita

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