The reproduction rate, or R value, of Covid-19 in India has dropped from 1.17 reported around the end of August to 0.92 recorded in mid-September, PTI reported on Tuesday, citing researchers. This indicates that the rate of infection across the country has slowed down, according to experts.

However, the R values in major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru was recorded at over 1.

The R value measures how many people are being infected by one Covid-positive person on an average. For instance, a value between 0.7 and 1.2 means that every 10 Covid-positive people will pass on the infection to seven to 12 others.

The number of infections keeps rising if the R value is more than 1. If the value declines, the infection will eventually stop spreading because there will not be enough new cases for the outbreak to continue.

A study at Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, showed that the R value in Mumbai was 1.09, in Chennai 1.11, in Kolkata 1.04 and in Bengaluru 1.06.

The R value in Maharashtra and Kerala, the two states with the highest number of active cases, was also found to be below 1. Tamil Nadu and Mizoram were the only states where the reproduction rate was above 1.

“There is always a possibility that different results for the metros and the states could be because of the different testing rates in the metros and the districts,” said Sitabhra Sinha, a scientist at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, according to Deccan Herald.

The R value was estimated to be around 1.37 between March 9 and April 21 during the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It dropped to 1.18 between April 24 and May 1 and further declined to 1.10 between April 29 and May 7.

The R value was estimated to be about 0.98 from May 9 to May 11. The rate was 0.82 between May 14 and May 30 and 0.78 from May 15 to June 26. It increased to 0.88 between June 20 and July 7.

The reproduction rate was 1.17 at the end of August. It dropped to 1.11 between September 4 and September 7 and has remained under 1 since then.

Meanwhile, India reported 26,964 new cases on Wednesday, pushing the infection tally to 3,35,31,498 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The cases were 3.25% higher than Tuesday’s count of 26,115 infections.

The toll climbed by 383 to 4,45,768.