The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Social distancing leading to stable Covid-19 numbers; r-factor down

Sunday, 22 November 2020, 07:30 Last update: about 12 days ago

Social distancing measures are having a positive effect and have helped Covid-19 numbers to remain stable and the r-factor to go down, according to statistician Vincent Marmara.

Speaking in his weekly vlog for The Malta Independent on Sunday, Marmara said the number of daily cases has remained relatively stable over the past three weeks. This week’s numbers, in fact, were slightly lower than the previous week.


The total number of positive cases as a percentage of tests performed was similar over the past three weeks, going down slightly this week from 4.2% to 4.1%

The number of deaths over the past week – 16 – was also lower than last week’s 19.

Recoveries have increased over last week, with 826 registered this week.

The number of recoveries is currently around 93% of new cases reported. When it exceeds 100%, it means there are more recoveries than new cases. The number is edging closer to 100% but one needs to wait and see how things unfold, Marmara said.

When considering all these facts, including the consistent number of cases seen over the past weeks, the r-factor has gone down to 1.22.

Marmara noted that there was a decrease in new cases in France, Spain and the UK, and daily figures in Italy and Germany are stable, similar to Malta’s case.

This indicates that measures introduced to enforce social distancing are starting to have an effect, he said. “This is also happening in Malta, where people are being more responsible, and this has contributed to the r-factor going down. This is a very positive thing that should be encouraged.”

People should always consider the risks to keep the infection from spreading, Marmara continued. While, before the pandemic, no one thought twice about having flu-like symptoms, today these can be a sign of Covid-19. People feeling such symptoms should be careful and check themselves out, thus reducing the risk of spreading the virus to others.




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