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India's 'R-value' dropped to 2.2 between January 7 and 13 as compared to the previous two weeks, indicating a decline in the spread of coronavirus in the country, a preliminary analysis by IIT-Madras shows, news agency PTI reported.

The R-value shows how fast coronavirus is spreading in a particular region, and the number of people an infected person can spread infection. City-wise, the R-value of Mumbai was recorded at 1.3, Delhi 2.5, Chennai 2.4 and Kolkata 1.6. 

The analysis has been done by IIT Madras' Department of Mathematics and Centre of Excellence for Computational Mathematics and Data Science, headed by Prof Neelesh S Upadhye and Prof S Sundar.

Also read: What will next Covid variant look like? WHO offers clarification on evolution of virus

During the previous two weeks, India's R-value was 2.9 from December 25 to December 31 and 4 between January 1 and 6. If the R-value goes below 1, the pandemic is considered on a decline and could enter the ‘epidemic’ phase. 

As per Dr Jayant Jha, assistant professor, mathematics at IIT Madras, the R-value is determined by assessing transmissibility probability, contact rate and probable time in which virus can infect an individual. 

The experts also reiterated that even though it's not possible to carry out genome sequencing of each sample, it's estimated that the current coronavirus wave in India is being driven by the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.'

The R-value had dropped from 1.17 in August 2021 end to 0.92 in mid September 2021, indicating that the spread of the infection across the country has slowed down. This was after the devastating second wave that saw hospitals and health infrastructure being overwhelmed by the patients infected with SARS-CoV2 coronavirus.

Meanwhile, India is still reporting a surge in Omicron cases. The country reported 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant. This is the highest single day jump witnessed in the the country so far as 1,702 new cases of Omicron variant were reported in the last 24 hours, which is an increase of 28.17% since yesterday.

The country reported 2,71,202 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,71,22,164, including 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

With inputs from PTI

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