As of Monday, the reproduction number dropped from 1,25 (pre-Christmas value) to 0,89. Despite the uplifting results, Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), thinks that they should be first and foremost attributed to the decrease in testing.
“It’s not representative, I dare say at the moment, it’s a bit of a calculation artifact. As the load of the tests decreased significantly during Christmas, which was of course expected, the number of daily positive tests decreased to such an extent that it reduced the reproductive number. Christmas just had to be like that, “Dušek explained for Novinky.cz
The reproduction number indicates how fast the virus can spread by showing the average number of the people one ill person can infect when the population is not immune. However, if the testing capacity is very low, then the number of positive tests and the R0 number will also be correspondingly low. For example, on the 23rd, there were 39, 385 number of tests performed with 14, 118 confirmed infections. On the 24th, the number of tests fell to 10, 652. It remained around the same level until 27th with the lowest number of tests carried on Christmas day – 7, 778. On the 25th, 2, 670 people were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. According to Dušek, the R0 is expected to rise again after Christmas.
Following the decrease in the R0 number, the risk according to the PES system has also fallen from 76 to 71, corresponding to the fourth level of danger. However, the country currently remains in the fifth level. The correspondence of the value to a level goes as follows:
• First level (green) = 0-20
• Second level (yellow) = 21-40
• Third level (orange) = 41-60
• Fourth level (red) = 61 – 75
• Fifth level (purple) = 76 – 100
Photo credit: Mufid Majnun via Unsplash