R- value – An indicator

With reference to the R- value, consider the following statements:

1. The reproduction number or R, an indicator of how quickly a disease is spreading in the population.
2. An R-value of 1, which signifies that every infected person is passing on the infection to at least one person on an average.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Both 1 and 2

Explanation: Although the government has not described it as such, there are now unmistakable signs that India has entered the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sharpest increases in cases are being seen in the major cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and others.

The reproduction number or R, an indicator of how quickly a disease is spreading in the population, has crossed 1 in all these megacities.

An R-value of 1, which signifies that every infected person is passing on the infection to at least one person on an average, is a key threshold after which cases begin to rise rapidly. Both Delhi and Mumbai have R-values over 2 right now.

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