The health ministry has identified 8 states where the Covid-19 infection is spreading at a fast rate. Now, the Institute of Mathematical Science says the situation is similar in capital cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai.

The Union health ministry on Tuesday said the R-value of SARS-CoV-2 virus in eight states is more than one, which is a cause for concern as this value, also known as the reproductive number of the infection, denotes how fast the infection is spreading. Institute of Mathematical Science, Chennai has revealed that Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi too have an R factor of over 1. “The cities of Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Delhi also are showing R above 1. This suggests a rise in the active cases that are coordinated across widely scattered regions which would be hard to contain,” researcher Sitabhra Sinha told PTI.

Eight states/UTs with R-value more than 1

According to health ministry data, the states with R-value over 1 are Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Why is R-value important?

R-value is the rate at which the infection is spreading. When a wave is at its peak, it is evident that the virus is spreading at a faster rate. But at a time when the wave is receding, a slight increase of R-value can indicate an impending upward trend in the wave again.

What does a value greater than 1 indicate?

It indicates that one infected person is spreading the virus to more than 1 person. If this is the situation, then the number of cases will gradually increase. If the value is less than 1, it mathematically means one infected person is spreading the virus to less than one person. For example, if R-value is 0.88, it means 100 infected persons are spreading the virus to 88 people.

What is India’s present R-value?

An analysis by researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, said the overall R number in India has crossed 1 for the first time since May 7.

What is the R-value of other countries?

US, Canada, Australia have a 1.2 R-value, on average. This means, one infected person can spread the virus to more than one in these countries too.

Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru’s R-value

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have already been put on high alert after Kerala started witnessing a spike since last week of July. The situation in Delhi and West Bengal is under control. But if the infection is spreading at a higher rate in these capital cities, it is a serious challenge to the states.

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