Focusing on Rt – understanding the transmission of COVID-19

In an interview with the News Strait Times newspaper, Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said that Rt should now be the focus for the country in understanding the transmission of Covid-19.

Prof Awang said that the ‘R0’ is ‘R’ at the beginning of the epidemic when the entire population is susceptible to the infection. However, as time goes by, some people would have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 and have the COVID-19 disease. When this happen Rt should be use instead.

He explained further that Rt of 1.0 and above meant the virus would be spreading and an Rt of below 1.0 meant the transmission of the virus is slowing down and will stop spreading.

He said the Rt for different parts of the country is different, for example, the Rt for Sabah and Kedah is above 1.0.

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