Published: 04th August 2021
What The FAQ: What exactly do health experts mean by 'R' of the COVID pandemic?
Coronavirus is possibly the only disease that has brought this concept from medical journals down to our newspapers and possibly our daily vocabulary
The Central government on Tuesday said that India's R number in terms COVID is more than 1 in eight states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Here is what you need to know about this 'R' that shouldn't really be ours.
What does 'R number' mean?
The 'R number' is essentially a reproductive number of a virus. It is a way to rate any disease's ability to spread. Now what exactly does this number tell us? It is an average as to how many people one person can infect. Coronavirus is possibly the only disease that has brought this concept from medical journals down to our newspapers and possibly our daily vocabulary.
Higher R or lower R, what is our ideal 'R'?
When the R is lower than 1, it means that one person is not passing the virus ahead to one more person. So if the R keeps falling, there are fewer and fewer cases as the days pass. When the value of R is 1, it means that one patient is infecting one more person. This means that the virus is spreading but at a much slower rate but still infecting many. When R is higher than 1, it means that the disease is just marching forward.