COVID-19: What is the R-Factor that the Centre warned against
New Delhi, July 15: The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued an advisory to the states and Union Territories stating that there is a need to guard ourselves against complacency and laxity that has crept in as the positivity of COVID-19 has declined.
The advisory said that the R-Factor or reproduction number which indicates the speed at which the infection is spreading in some factors is a matter of concern.
What is the R-Factor?
If the value of the R-Factor is above 1, then it would mean that one infected person can spread the infection to more than one person. "You may be aware that any increase in R factor above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of Covid-19. Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be made responsible for ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour in all crowded places," Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla said in the letter to the states.
Kerala sees increase in R-Factor:
Kerala and the northeastern states have an increased R-Factor. This is one of the reasons there has been a sluggish decline in the number of cases. There is an increase in this factor in Kerala, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura according to the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai.
In May the factor was 0.78 while in June it stood at 0.88.
Kerala has an R-Value of 1.10 while in Manipur it is 1.07 and in Tripura it is 1.15. In Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh it is 0.86 and 1.14 respectively, while in Sikkim and Assam the value is at 0.88 and 0.86.
The findings by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences finding said that the value at at 1.37 between March 9 and April 21. Between April 24 and May 1 it was at 1.18. while between April 29 and May 7 it stool at 1.10.
In broad terms the R-Factor would mean that if people do not go, an infected person cannot spread the infection. Although the pandemic was at its peak in May, the R-Factor remained low as many states were under a lockdown.
The advisory also asked the states to make officers personally responsible for any laxity in the strict enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
The advisory issued by Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla said that if the norms of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour are not maintained at any establishment/premises/markets etc, such places shall be liable for the re-imposition of restrictions, for containing the spread of Covid-19 and the defaulters shall also be liable for action under the relevant laws.
Bhalla said that the people have been found violating the COVID-19 norms in several parts of the country. This has been found especially in public transport and at hill stations. The ministry said that massive crowds are also thronging market places and violating norms such as social distancing.
Further the R-Factor or reproduction number which
indicates the speed at which the infection is spreading in some factors is a matter of concern, Bhalla said in the advisory.