JIS News

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting a decline in the country’s reproduction rate for the coronavirus (COVID-19), indicating a slowing of the virus’ spread.

The reproduction rate of a virus is a measure of its transmission or the number of new infections generated by each case.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, said that the rate had dropped below 1 to 0.9, which means that each infected person is transmitting the virus to less than one other person. Up to March 23, the rate was 1.1.

“We have been saying that we need to get the reproduction rate below 1 and we are now at 0.9,” she said.

Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie, who was addressing the Ministry’s virtual COVID Conversations press briefing on April 8, attributed the decline to the restrictions placed on movement, including the weekend lockdowns.

She noted that because of the heightened movement during the Christmas season, the reproduction rate had reached a high of 1.3 by February 8.

“Since then, we would have introduced the increased curfew hours about February 10 and increased gathering restrictions February 24, all in an effort to decrease movement, decrease exposure, and we would have seen that [rate] gradually dropping down to 1.1 and then to 1,” she said.

Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said if the virus reproduction rate remains at 0.9 “what we are expecting to see now in another 30 days is a decrease in the number of cases”, adding that “if we get it down to 0.7, then we will be more of where we want to be”.

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