A recent study by the Institute of Mathematical Science in Chennai shows that the transmission rate has increased in India for the first time since March 2020.
On 24 March 2020, India imposed a nationwide lockdown for 21 days by limiting the movement of the entire1.3 billion population as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The lockdown was placed when the number of confirmed positive cases was approximately 500. Lockdown was imposed with the motive to prevent the transmission of coronavirus from infected persons to non-infected persons.
According to the Indian Express, R was decreasing from 1.83 for months since March 4 but has shown a spike in the first week of July, which marks as a second unlocking phase. Flattening of the Covid-19 curve is assumed when R reaches 1. Dr. Sitabhra Sinha from the institute said, “R is currently 1.19 which means that on an average one infected person is spreading the disease to 1.19 people more”.
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It takes about 10-14 days to show an increase or decrease in the number of cases according to Dr. Sinha. She believes that spike in cases is a result of the event that took place between mid-June or slightly latter.
Reports mention that some states are improving. Delhi is now witnessing R around 1 from an R number of 1.25 from June 13th to 16th. The capital has witnessed R slightly above 1for a few days from June 21. Dr. Sinha said that the curve is “sub-exponential” which implies that the curve has not been growing exponentially for a while. Delhi and Haryana are showing a similar pattern.
In March coronavirus R number was 1.83 in India which dropped to 1.55 between April 6 and 11. It further dropped to 1.49 and then 1.2 at the beginning of June. The reports state that the transmission rate dropped rapidly reaching 1.11 by 26th June 2020. But after unlocking the country, it has increased to 1.19 from July 1st to 5th.
States which were previously registering spike have slowed down but states like Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have shown the highest R numbers which are 1.66, 1.65, and 1.32, respectively.
According to Dr. Sinha, active cases in India are expected to reach 6 lakh by the month-end while Maharashtra could report over 1.5 lakh active cases by 21st July 2020.