India’s third wave tension worsens as coronavirus ‘R’ factor hovers at 1; UP, Himachal, Punjab show disturbing uptick

India’s third wave tension worsens as coronavirus ‘R’ factor hovers at 1; UP, Himachal, Punjab show disturbing uptick


R factor, Coronavirus, coronavirus in India, covid 19 updatesTravelers wait in queue to test for COVID-19 at a train station in Mumbai. (AP Photo)

India reported its lowest Covid numbers today with less than 30,000 new coronavirus cases. This was the first time in the last 150 days or so that India witnessed such a drop in daily caseload. Moment of relief? Yes. Is it time to rejoice? No! It is because, while India is seeing a consistent drop in the fresh Covid-19 infections, there is another key factor that may ruin any future plans of further unlocking cities etc. It is the disturbing increased value of the ‘R’ factor that shows that the third wave fears are very real and has all the potential to turn into another catastrophe, even if in a somewhat blunted manner.

Addressing the media today, the health ministry officials presented data that should ring out alarm bells. India’s ‘R’ factor value is over 1.0, the government says, indicating that the virus is multiplying at a faster pace. With an effective reproduction value of 1.3, cases in Punjab are increasing sharply. The situation remains similar in Himachal Pradesh also, which saw massive overcrowding by tourists last month.

R factor, coronavirus, coronavirus in IndiaIndia’s ‘R’ factor was below 1.0 in June. Since then, the number has gone up. (Photo: PIB/Twitter)

In India’s most populous state, the ‘R’ factor value is over 1 at 1.1. Cases are likely to increase in the coming days in Uttar Pradesh, the health ministry data shows. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa remain stable, though these states also have an ‘R’ factor above 1.0. Andhra Pradesh will also witness a fresh surge, the government data shows.

In nutshell, the government says that the slump in daily cases has not conclusive meaning for India’s coronavirus trajectory if the ‘R’ factor remains high.


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