The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

R-factor up to 1.39; most new cases linked to social activities - Marmara

Sunday, 7 March 2021, 07:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Covid-19 r-factor has climbed to 1.39 as daily cases continue to increase, statistician Vincent Marmara said in his weekly exclusive video blog with The Malta Independent on Sunday.

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.

Many of the new cases reported over the past few days are linked to social gatherings, he said, appealing to the general public to follow the rules laid down by the health authorities.

“A year has passed since the first case was reported. Today’s normal means living with Covid-19, but also living in a responsible way to avoid spreading the virus. Unfortunately,  there are some who are still not following instructions. It is good that the authorities take certain decisions, like they did this week, but it is also very important that the people follow these rules.”

He said that almost three quarters of active cases are related to activities at home or social gatherings. “It is clear that the number of cases is increasing as a result of such activities. Cases related to workplaces and schools are substantially lower.”

The number of new cases increased substantially over the past week, he noted.

7.4% of people who tested resulted positive. This was an increase over the previous weeks.

The number of deaths and recoveries remained similar to previous weeks.

There were far more new cases than recoveries.

Turning to the vaccination drive, Marmara noted that 7% of the population has received both jabs, and 12% has received at least one, making Malta one of the best performers in the field.

Marmara also gave an overview of the situation in Europe, with the UK and Spain experiencing a decrease in new cases, France and Germany remaining stable and Italy, like Malta, experiencing an increase.

Marmara reiterated his call for responsibility on everyone’s part. The rising numbers and the UK variant of the virus places a greater responsibility on us. “The absolute majority are following the rules responsibly but there are many who are not doing this,” he said, urging everyone to do their part to stop the spread.

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