THE CONTEXT: The latest data on the reproduction numbers (R value) for India showed that over the last week of July 2021, the overall R was greater than 1 again. An R value above 1 indicates that there can be a spike in novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the coming days.
- The R value provides information on the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person having that disease. Analysis showed that there was a rising trend of active cases in Kerala, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh which are among the top 20 states in terms of active cases.
- In the Northeast, R was greater than 1 in Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Nagaland. R value was very close to 1 in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Major metros such as Delhi, Pune, and Chennai, too had R which was higher than 1.
- This nationwide coordination suggests that it may be the precursor of a new wave, but we will have to wait for some more days to see if this trend is sustained. The R values go up and down as the pandemic progresses and the last time the R value for India had gone over 1 was during February 21-23, 2021.
- As of August 2, 2021, only 7.8 percent of India’s population was fully vaccinated and 27.6 percent had received at least one dose. This is of concern as unvaccinated people are more at risk of contracting the disease.
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