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CHANDIGARH

Covid-hit Punjab faces consistent R-value rise | Chandigarh News

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CHANDIGARH: As Punjab has been hit by a barrage of Covid-19 cases, the effective reproduction rate (R-value) — an indicator of how fast Covid-19 or any other infection spreads – is on a consistent rise in recent weeks. After dropping below the crucial threshold of one, the infection rate of Covid-19 started to pick pace after the first week of February and has been rising since then. For the pandemic to come to an end, the value of R needs to remain below one for a long period.
According to the calculations done by Prof Sitabhra Sinha of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, the estimated R-Value went up to 1.04 +/- 0.01 on February 17 from value of 0.94 +/- 0.04 on February 7. By February 24, the infection rate touched 1.23 +/- 0.01 and further soared to 1.34 +/- 0.01 on March 15.
The current value of 1.34 means that every 100 people, who are infected, will on average pass on the infection to about 134 people. If the value continues to rise for a long time, the number of infected people will increase rapidly. The state health department data revealed that 29,579 cases have surfaced between February 1 and March 17, 657 cases a day on an average. In the last seven days alone, 11,009 cases and 194 deaths have been reported. According to the projections, Punjab is expected to touch the figure of 3,000 cases a day by end of March.
The daily growth rate of cases has more than doubled in the last two weeks, much higher than the national growth rate. From 2.4% on March 4, the growth rate touched 5% on March 17. On the All-India level, the growth rate went up from 0.9% to 1.5% during the same period. Terming the prevailing situation critical, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh in the recent week has been asking people to take precautions by adopting Covid-appropriate behaviour. The experts of the central government have also held people not following safety norms and large gathering as a key reason for the resurgence of cases in Punjab.
There are 13,320 active cases in Punjab, third highest in the country. With 1,52,760 patients undergoing treatment, Maharashtra has the highest number of active cases in the country followed by Kerala where 25,394 are yet to recover. Of total active cases, 7,741 asymptomatic patients or with mild symptoms are in home isolation. Jalandhar has the most number of 1,701 active cases.

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