The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Malta’s Covid-19 reproduction number now stands at 1.54 – Vincent Marmara

Albert Galea Sunday, 25 October 2020, 07:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

Amidst a record spike in cases, Malta’s Covid-19 reproduction number has increased to 1.54 in the past week, statistician Vincent Marmara told The Malta Independent on Sunday in his exclusive weekly video blog on the Covid-19 situation in Malta.

The reproduction factor of the virus is one of the key figures which countries across the world have been trying to reduce ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The aim for countries has been to reduce the ratio to a level of 1 – which would mean that one person would transmit the virus to one other person.

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The reproduction number is based on a variety of factors, such as the source of new cases – for instance, whether they are imported or whether they are part of particular clusters – and the amount of testing being carried out.

Marmara explained that the r-factor has increased again after a record-high of 976 cases of Covid-19 was found in the past week.

This is a significant increase on the 701 cases reported last week, and the 442 cases reported the week prior.

The number of positive cases when compared to the number of tests has also increased to record heights, now standing at 5.1% when compared to 4.1% last week.

It is the week in the whole pandemic where the highest percentage of tests returned a positive result.

The above calculations do not include the 115 cases from a record high 3,114 tests which were reported on Saturday.

Delving into some details about the situation overseas, Marmara said that Spain has reported a major increase in cases compared with the past weeks.  The situation is the same in the UK, with the daily number of cases now dwarfing the in the first wave.

The story is similar in Italy and France as well, with the first waves of their pandemic now looking negligible in comparison.

In the United States – which has seen sustained transmission for months – a record number of cases are being found daily as well.

Marmara said that the numbers make it clear that pandemic is growing in a number of countries abroad too.

He said that everyone must do their part in order to stem the pandemic, through measures as stipulated by health authorities – such as social distancing and the use of masks.

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