The Covid-19 pandemic may just be tracking back in India, at least for now. The R-value or reproduction number for Covid is now standing at 0.55, the lowest ever registered in the course of the three waves of the pandemic. It may be safe to say in these circumstances that the third wave of Covid-19 has subsided in India, with states recording falling number of cases and rising number of recoveries steadily.
If R is lesser than 1, it means the number of newly infected people is lower than the number of infected people in the preceding period and the disease incidence is going down. The R value should be lesser than 1 to indicate that the pandemic has subsided.
According to a report by ThePrint, “In all states and Union territories, where active Covid cases are over 1,000 cases, R is below 1.”
A Look at the States
West Bengal currently has an R of 0.36, which is the lowest among all states. On the other hand, Assam has the highest R-value among states with over 1,000 active cases — standing at 0.85 — which has increased over the last month.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have both recorded an R of 0.49 on Monday, which has declined over the last month.
Maharashtra’s R-value has slightly increased from 0.58 in February to 0.59 on Monday, while that of Kerala has reduced from 0.76 to 0.54 over the same time period, the report by ThePrint stated.
What’s Happening in Major Cities?
The R value of Delhi has also increased from 0.53 at the beginning of February to 0.73 on Monday, the report said. Mumbai’s R-value is higher at 0.88, which is an increase from 0.72 in February. R-value of Pune increased from 0.61 in February to 0.66 on Monday, while that of Bengaluru stands at 0.64. In Chennai, the R stands at 0.58 while Kolkata has the lowest R-value among the metros at 0.32, the report said.
Beginning of the End?
While the low values definitely come as a sigh of relief, this may be short-lived. A modelling study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur suggests that the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India may start around June 22 and peak from mid to late August.
“The data indicates that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in India will arrive after 936 days from the initial data availability date, which is January 30, 2020,” the authors of the study said.
“Therefore, the fourth wave starts from June 22, 2022, reaching its peak on August 23, 2022, and ends on October 24, 2022,” they wrote in the research paper.
Meanwhile, India saw a single-day rise of 6,915 coronavirus infections, while active infections dropped below the 1 lakh mark.