India coronavirus news: The consequent increase in the 'R'-factor in some of the states is a matter of concern, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to all states and UTs
'R' factor above 1.0 is an indicator of the spread of Covid-19
With the nation witnessing a worrying surge in fresh cases of the virus and an increase in the 'R' factor, or reproduction number, of Covid-19, the Central Government today asked the states and Union Territories to ensure that people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The consequent increase in the 'R'-factor in some of the states is a matter of concern, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to all states and UTs.
"Blatant violations of Covid norms have been observed in several parts of the country, especially in public transport and at hill stations. Massive crowds are also thronging the market places, violating norms of social distancing," the letter said.
"Consequently, increase in 'R' factor in some states is a matter of concern. You may be aware that any increase in 'R' factor above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of Covid-19," it added.
"Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be made responsible for ensuring Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in all crowded places, such as shops, malls, markets, market complexes, weekly markets, restaurants and bars, 'mandis, bus stations, railway platforms, stations, public parks and gardens, gymnasium, banquet halls, marriage halls, stadia, sports complexes (if opened up by the State) as well as at all areas identified as hotspots for transmission of Covid19 virus," he wrote in the letter.
'No room for complacency'
The Union Home Secretary emphasised the second wave of Covid-19 is not yet over and there is no room for complacency and people must follow Covid-19 protocols.
He added that with a decline in the number of active Covid-19 cases, states and UTs have started reopening economic activities in a gradual manner but the process of relaxing curbs should be cautiously calibrated.
Bhalla further said that during periods of low positivity, efforts must be stepped up to prevent any probable future surge.
What is 'R' factor?
The 'R'-factor indicates the speed at which the disease is spreading in any country. A reproduction rate below 1 indicates that each infected individual is on average passing on the disease to less than one person.
The researchers at the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) found that the R-value for Covid-19 has gone up for India. Their analysis said that it has gone from 0.78 on 30 June to 0.88 in the first week of July. This is despite the countrywide tally of new cases remaining low, according to a PTI report.
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