A new study has suggested that an increasing 'R' factor, which primarily means the reproduction rate in states like Kerala and Maharashtra could lead to a renewed wave of Covid pandemic in India. The study report also noted that this rise in the R factor in these states could spread all across the nation, which may ultimately result in another wave of the pandemic. 

R factor in Maharashtra and Kerala rising 

Maharashtra and Kerala were the two Indian states that saw the maximum number of coronavirus cases during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Amid the waning second wave of the pandemic, cases in Kerala and Maharashtra are still high, and now, the R factor in these states has also started climbing slowly. 

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Maharashtra witnessed 8,535 fresh coronavirus cases, and the R factor in the state climbed from  0.79 in mid-May to 0.89 in June end. The most recent data indicates that the R factor in the state is close to 1. Kerala has an active caseload of 1.15 lakh, and its R factor briefly crossed the 1 mark earlier this month. 

"The difference seems small but it indicates an exponential rate of increase. Even a .1 change can make a big difference going forward, in terms of how many active cases there will be. It is worrying that a few states are slowing down the rate of resolving active cases or, in some instances, have 'R' factor close to 1... a little nudge can push it the wrong way," said Dr Sitabhra Sinha, lead researcher on the study. 

The possibility of a third wave of pandemic in India

As worrying study reports started surfacing, several medical experts believe that a third wave of the Covid pandemic could be imminent in India. A few weeks back, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria had revealed that the third wave of the pandemic in the country is inevitable. 

Recently, another study report from SBI titled 'Covid-19: The race to finishing line' also predicted that fresh coronavirus cases in India will start climbing by the second fortnight of August, and will reach its peak in the month of September.