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Covid R-value crosses 2 in Delhi: IIT-Madras study

Covid R-value crosses 2 in Delhi: IIT-Madras study

NEW DELHI: The capital’s R-value, which indicates the spread of Covid-19 infections, was recorded at 2.1 this week, implying that every person contracting the disease is infecting two others, according to an analysis by IIT-Madras.

The “R” or reproductive value indicates the number of people an infected person can spread the disease to, and a pandemic wave is considered to end if this value goes below one.

While Delhi’s R-value was recorded at 2.1, India’s stood at 1.3 this week, the analysis found. The IIT experts said the higher R-value in the capital did not mean that the city was on the cusp of a fourth wave.

“We can only say right now that every person is affecting two others… but we need to wait a bit to declare onset. We don’t know about the immunity status and whether the people who got affected during the third wave in January are getting affected again,” Jayant Jha, assistant professor in mathematics department of IIT-Madras.

The preliminary analysis by computational modelling was done by IIT-Madras’ Department of Mathematics and Centre of Excellence for Computational Mathematics and Data Science headed by Prof Neelesh S Upadhye and Prof S Sundar.

For other metro cities – Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – Jha said the number of cases are too low to ascertain a trend.

Delhi is witnessing an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases. The city logged 1,042 fresh Covid cases with a positivity rate of 4.64% on Friday and 1,094 cases and 4.82% on Saturday.

The Omicron sub-lineage BA.2.12 has been detected in a majority of samples sequenced from Delhi in the first fortnight of April and it could be behind the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, sources said on Thursday.

An Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) source claimed that the Omicron variant derivative, BA.2.12.1, has also been found in a few samples in Delhi which is said to be contributing to the recent rise in cases in the US. But officials have not confirmed that it indeed was found in some samples in Delhi.

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