Targeted Mobility Interventions Reduce the Spread of COVID-19: A Simulation Study on Real Mobility Data

Haotian Wang, Abhirup Ghosh, Jiaxin Ding, Rik Sarkar, Jie Gao

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Received date: 22nd September 2020

Major interventions have been introduced worldwide to slow down the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Large scale lockdown of human movements are effective in reducing the spread, but they come at a cost of significantly limited societal functions. We show that natural human movements are statistically diverse, and spread of the disease is significantly influenced by a small group of active individuals and gathering venues. We find that interventions focused on these most mobile individuals and popular venues reduce both the peak infection rate and the total infected population while retaining high levels of social activity. These trends are seen consistently in simulations with real human mobility data of different scales, resolutions, and modalities from multiple cities across the world. The observation implies that compared to broad sweeping interventions, more targeted strategies based on the network effects in human mobility provide better balance between pandemic control and normal social activities.

Read in full at arXiv. 

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature