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Reproduction number for Covid-19 has dropped to 1.1 – is there a reason for hope?

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The strict measures proposed by the Czech government to tackle COVID-19 might have started to work – the reproduction number has dropped to 1.1. for the first time since the beginning of October.

According to, over the past two weeks, the number has been declining very slowly, remaining between 1.3-1.4, yet on Wednesday, October 28th, the decline became more apparent when the number dropped to 1.1.

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. For example, the highest R-number is seen in measles where one infected person can infect 15 others, meaning the R-number is 15. If the number remains above 1, the spread will continue exponentially. If the number is kept below 1, the epidemic will eventually resolve on its own. The adopted measures and developing immunity have an impact on the R-value. However, the R0 might not be the most accurate way of measuring the rate of the spread of COVID-19 since many people remain asymptomatic or never report their symptoms.

According to the current data, while the value of 1.1 is a definite progress from the gloomy 1.5 reached in the middle of September and then again on October 9th (meaning future 22,5 000 new cases each day with no measures adopted), it is still far from perfect. Earlier, the ex-minister of Health, Roman Prymula, suggested that the value of 0.8 is needed to significantly slow the spread down in the Czech Republic. The next two weeks should indicate whether the measures announced by the government had an effect.

“I may surprise you, but the 15,000 is not such bad news, although it’s a record. If the development continues this way, which means that it will still grow, but the pace will still decrease, then this is the way in the right direction,” Jan Hamáček, the Minister of the Interior, said on Wednesday, reports.

Currently, there are 174,965 active cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic according to the Worldometers. 2,675 people died, 119,373 have recovered and 962 remain in a serious/critical condition.

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