India's COVID-19 R-value rises amid third wave concerns

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04 Sep 2021: India's COVID-19 R-value rises amid third wave concerns

India's COVID-19 R-value — an indicator of how fast the disease is spreading — is on the rise amid concerns over an expected third wave of the pandemic. It rose to 1.17 in the final week of August as against 0.89 between August 14-17, according to researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. Here's what you need to know.

Quote: Rise driven by states like Kerala, Maharashtra

"Not only is it greater than one, it is much higher than the last time there was a scare of a third wave. It was 1.03 at that time," Sitabhra Sinha, leading the team of researchers, told news agency PTI. Sinha said the surge has been driven by an increase of R-value in several states, including Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Value: What is the R-value?

R-value is the rate at which a disease spreads in a community. In simpler terms, it is a measure of how many people an infected person is further infecting at a point in time. For instance, an R-value of 1.0 implies an infected person will, on an average, transmit the virus to one more person. R-value above one is considered a cause for concern.

States: Which states have a high R-value?

The R-value in Kerala shot up to 1.33 from 0.87 the previous week. For Maharashtra, which also had an R-value of 0.87, it rose to 1.06. However, besides these two worst-hit states, other areas are also seeing a surge. Mizoram has the highest R-value of 1.36 while the same for Jammu and Kashmir is 1.25. The value is 1.09 for Andhra Pradesh.

Past: What was the R-value earlier?

When the second wave of the coronavirus had hit the country earlier this year, the R-value was 1.37 between March 9 and April 21. Between May 15 and June 26, it dropped to 0.78. It then rose for a brief period before decreasing again. The value was 0.92 during August 6-9, 0.99 during August 12-14, and 0.89 during August 14-17.

Situation: India's coronavirus situation

In the past 24 hours, India reported 42,618 new coronavirus cases, a marginal drop from yesterday. Meanwhile, the country's death toll went up by 330 during the same period. Worryingly, Kerala accounted for nearly 70 percent of the new cases and over a third of the fresh fatalities. The daily positivity rate stands at 2.50 percent.

Third wave: What are the projections for third wave?

Experts have warned a third wave of COVID-19 could hit India between September and October. However, it will likely be less severe than the devastating previous wave in April-May, according to researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Manindra Agrawal, an IIT-Kanpur scientist working on projections for the pandemic, said the new wave would peak at around 1,00,000 daily cases.

The news article, India's COVID-19 R-value rises amid third wave concerns appeared first on NewsBytes.

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