COVID-19 second wave not yet over, rising R-value cause of concern: Health Ministry

A medical worker works on the preliminary blood test of people tested for COVID-19 at the Chulalongkorn University Health Service Center in Bangkok, Thailand, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

The COVID-19 second wave in the country is not yet over as nearly 30,000 cases are still being reportedly daily, the health ministry said caliming that the rising R-Value in eight states is a cause of concern.

While addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary at Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said, “The pandemic is far from over as a surge in cases is being noted globally, and the second wave, as far as India is concerned, is still not over.”

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On the issue of relaxation leading to increase in COVID-19 cases, Agarwal said, “This could be what we discussed but it is critical for us to deal wiht this collectively. We need additional support from the community to tackle this battle head on.”

Further, he warned that if COVID-protool is not followed there will be an increase in number of infections as several states in the country looks towards easing lockdown restrictions.

“Presently, the R number in eight states and UTs — Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshwadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala — is showing an increasing trend and is more than one which is a cause of concern. There is an increase in R value for India has risen from 0.8 to 1.2, ” he said.

The R value is to measure the number of people a coronavirus positive person can infect, thereby reflecting the severity of its spread. A number of one or below one indicates a slowly spreading virus, while any number above one indicates a rapid spread.