Coronavirus: Third wave reproduction rate of virus increasing, AIIMS director and CSIR scientists issue warning

By Lokmat English Desk | Published: August 2, 2021 01:13 PM2021-08-02T13:13:21+5:302021-08-02T13:13:21+5:30


As daily COVID cases are rising in some of the states, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria emphasized on need of aggressive containment strategies to break the chain of transmission.

Guleria expressed concern over the rising R-value. Notably, the R-factor denotes the speed at which the infection is spreading across the country.

Guleria asserted that states, where Covid-19 cases are rising, must impose restrictions and adopt proactive measures like ‘test, track, and treat’ to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

“The rise in R-Value (from .96 to 1) is a cause of concern. This means that the chances of infection spreading from a person, who has Covid, to others have gone up”, the AIIMS chief said.

Earlier Sitabhra Sinha, Professor of Physics and Dean of Computational Biology at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai had said that R-value saw an increase in February this year when it rose from 0.93 to 1.02.

It went further up during the second wave in April and reached a peak of 1.31 on April 26. Since then, it was been declining till the recent increase.

“When the pandemic started in mid-March last year, it had a much faster rate of spread. The R-value, I estimated between March 14 and April 5 was 2.51 +- 0.07. This subsequently reduced to 1.70 +- 0.04 estimated over April 4 to April 16 and then to 1.34 +- 0.01 estimated over April 13 to May 15, most possibly a consequence of the nationwide lockdown,” Sinha said.

‘R’, also called effective reproduction number, suggests the mean number of other people who will catch the infection from a single infected person.

India reported 40,134 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, as per the health ministry’s August 2 update. There has been less than one lakh new coronavirus cases for the last 55 days.

As many as 422 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, new recoveries at 36,946 in the same period, the August 2 update stated.