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COVID-19 Third Wave Alarm: India’s R-Value Rises To 1.2

New Delhi: With a third COVID-19 wave looming in India, experts sounded a note of caution on Saturday.

The R-value, which indicates the speed at which the coronavirus infection spreads in a country, has increased to nearly 1.2 during the last fortnight.

According to researchers, the sharp rise in R-value — also known as effective transmission rate or reproduction number — is mainly due to high number of cases in states like Kerala and Maharashtra.

The R-value was 1.17 between August 24 and 29, while it was 0.89 between August 14 and 17, researchers at Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, stated.

“Up to that date (August 30), the situation looked pretty bad. India’s R-value had shot up close to 1.2. Not only is it greater than one, it is much higher than the last time there was a scare of a third wave (1.03 at that time),” PTI quoted Sitabhra Sinha, who is heading the research.

“This is driven by several states having their R-value go over 1 in the last few days of August — most notably Kerala and Maharashtra, but also Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha added.

Kerala’s R-value is currently 1.33, while the virus is a concern in Mizoram (1.36), Jammu & Kashmir (1.25), Maharashtra (1.06) and Andhra Pradesh (1.09) as well.

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