Covid R-Value Falls Below 1 In India, An Indicator Of Situation Getting Better

Well, the much-awaited good news has just knocked on our door. According to the recent observations, the R-value, which reflects how rapidly the coronavirus is spreading, has fallen below 1 in India. The Covid-19 situation in most affected parts like Kerala and the northeastern states is also improving.

What is R-Value?

The R-value is the reproduction number. It refers to how many people an infected person can infect, on average. In simple words, it denotes how ‘efficiently’ a virus is spreading.

A decrease in R-value is an indicator of a decline in the spread of disease. If R is less than one, it means the number of newly infected people is lower than the number of infected people in the preceding period and the disease incidence is going down. On contrary, if R is equal to or greater than one, it is called the epidemic phase. It denotes an increase in infected individuals.


In India, the R-value saw a decline after the devastating second wave of the virus. However, in the first week of August, the value mounted to one in affected regions like Kerala and Northeastern states. This sent down a wave of concern to the entire country. But now, according to researchers, the R-value between August 14-16, has been calculated to be 0.89. This indicates a decline in the spread of disease.

“India’s R has fallen to around 0.9,” Sitbara Sinha of the Indian Institute of Mathematical Science, who is leading the research, told PTI, citing their data.

COVID situation in Kerala, Maharashtra, and the Northeastern States

The R-value of Kerala, which has the highest number of active cases in the country, is now below one, signaling a relief to authorities who were under pressure to bring down the infection levels in the state.

Kerala, which recorded the first Covid-19 case in the country, received appreciation for handling the first wave effectively, but the state government has been under criticism after the second wave.

The northeastern states also seem to have finally come out of the second wave, Sinha said. The data shows that the R-value for Maharashtra, another state with a high number of corona cases, is 0.89.

Himachal Pradesh has R-Value above 1

With majorly impacted states gaining back normalcy, one state which continues to face the brunt is Himachal Pradesh. The state continues to have an R-value of above one, although it reduced in the last few days, while Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand still have R very close to one, Sinha said.

COVID situation in other major cities

Among the major cities, the R-value of Mumbai was lowest (0.70 from August 10-13), followed by Delhi (0.85 from July 31 to August 4), Bengaluru (0.94 from August 15-17), Chennai (0.97 from August 15-17).

However, the R-value remains high for Kolkata (1.08 from August 11-15) and Pune (1.05 from August 10-14).

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