Covid transmission rate drops to seven-week low

Covid transmission rate low
“Avoid contagion,” says ad on bus stop. Photo: Jorge Hely Veiga/Shutterstock

As coronavirus vaccination marches on in Brazil, the country’s Covid-19 transmission rate (Rt) dropped to 0.91 — the lowest level since May 18, as measured by Imperial College London. That means every 100 infected people are expected to contaminate another 91, which should then contaminate another 83, suggesting the virus spread is slowing down.

However, researchers warn that governments should not rush to roll back restrictions in light of the lower transmission rates. If not done properly, reopening could cause an increase in transmission and drive infection numbers up once more. Moreover, with Brazil reporting its first cases of the highly contagious Delta variant, specialists preach caution.

According to Imperial College London, the highest rates in South America are found in Argentina (1.03), Colombia (1.00), and Venezuela (0.98).