At a time when covid-19 cases are rising, the government has rightly underlined that the 3rd wave of the pandemic was far from being over. The reason is that the R Value – or reproductive value – of Covid-19 is more in most states or UTs in India.

In such a scenario, people lowering the guard and not keeping due adherence to covid-19 appropriate behavior present ominous tidings.

The reproductive factor, the number of people being infected by an infected person, has shown an upward curve more recently.

According to the analysis shared by IIT Madras, the R-value was recorded at 1.57 between January 14 and January 21. The number was recorded at 2.2 in the week of January 7-13 while it was 4 from January 1-6 and 2.9 from December 25- 31.

The administration must be wary of the ‘R’ factor as increase in it above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of covid-19.

As per scientists, it represents an important concept in epidemiology and is a crucial part of public health planning during an outbreak. Scientists use the ‘R’ factor to describe the intensity of an infectious disease outbreak. The ‘R’ factor estimates have been an important part of characterizing pandemics. The formal definition of a disease’s R factor is the number of cases, on average, an infected person will cause during their infectious period.

Further, the genome sequencing of samples taken from COVID patients revealed that most of the infections are primarily due to the omicron variant of the virus which is highly contagious and can lead to development of severe symptoms in some patients.

Therefore, it is important that there is adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in all crowded places, such as shops, malls, markets, market complexes, weekly markets, restaurants and ‘mandis, bus stations, railway platforms, stations, public parks and gardens as well as at all areas identified as hotspots for transmission of COVID19 virus.

There is also need to continue COVID-19 testing renewed vigor as it is extremely essential for an early identification of cases and checking the virus spread.

There is a need to guard against complacency and laxity. Efforts must be stepped up to prevent any probable future surge. Apex health body the ICMR has issued guidelines as per which contacts of coronavirus patients do not need testing unless identified as high-risk based on age or comorbidities. Such people need to isolate themselves from others.


Related Articles