Spatial Diversity of COVID-19 Cases in Poland Explained by Mobility Patterns - Preliminary Results
29 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020 Last revised: 22 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 6, 2020
Problem: There is a need for a spatio-temporal analysis of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Poland in order to prepare detailed solutions enabling actions to be taken to minimize the risk to public health during the likely second wave of infections in Autumn 2020.
Methodology: Our task is to examine the relationship between the SARS-CoV-2 arrival and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the period from March 4 to May 22, 2020 (unofficial data), and socio-economic variables at the poviat/county level (NUTS-4) using simple statistical techniques such as data visualization, correlation analysis, spatial clustering and multiple linear regression.
Results: Simple models taking into account only socio-economic data explain the variance of the number of cases in 45% and the arrival time in 25%. Mobility calculated as weighted degree centrality in the employee flow graph explains the most the variance of infection dynamics in Poland. Emigration is the best predictor of SARS-CoV-2 arrival times, and the logarithm of general mobility explains the most of the size of the epidemic in poviats. Economic emigration - in the terms of flow of employees living in Polish poviats and working abroad, statistically significantly accelerated the import of SARS-CoV-2 in regions with high numbers of emigrants. In addition to mobility / migration, employment fraction, industrialization and political orientation are the best predictors of infection dynamics to a much greater extent than previously postulated variables such as population density, income or the size of the senior population.
Conclusions: Polish authorities could, having a reliable analysis of the spread of the virus, prepare for the second wave of infections and manage resources in an optimal way and we have provided proposition of optimal distribution of human resoures between poviats. The arrival times are statistically significant associated with the migration of employees (probably due to returns of Polish emigrants from more affected by COVID-19 regions of the World). On the other hand, arrival times have no statistical significant links with as previously postulated mobility aspects of tourist or business trips (as it was the case in other European countries). However, regional income actually increases (insignificantly) the risk of diagnosing COVID-19. The relationship between the number of the most susceptible to the symptomatic form of COVID-19 seniors and the number of diagnosed cases in the selective model has been eliminated by other socio-economic variables. Due to the fact that large outbreaks often occur in industrial and mining workplaces, we observe a correlation between industrial areas or with high employment rates, high mobility and high support for the ruling party with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, so it should be strengthened personally, IT and authorization Sanitary Inspection in high risk poviats before the next wave of infections.
Note: Ethical Approval: None needed
Funding: The authors would like to thank the NCN (2016/22/E/HS2/00034), the Lower Silesian Marshal's Office (E/3026/2020 /I), the European Commission (EOSC-48)
Declaration of Interest: No competing interest
Keywords: COVID-19, Spatial Model, Resources allocation
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