Posted: 2021-10-29 19:00:00
The COVID-19 pandemic was an inevitable outcome of a globalized world in which a highly infective disease is able to reach every country in a matter of weeks. While lockdowns and strong mobility restrictions have proven to be efficient to contain the exponential transmission of the virus, its pervasiveness has made it impossible for economies to maintain this kind of measures in time. Understanding precisely how the spread of the virus occurs from a territorial perspective is crucial not only to prevent further infections but also to help with policy design regarding human mobility. From the large spatial differences in the behavior of the virus spread we can unveil which areas have been more vulnerable to it and why, and with this information try to assess the risk that each community has to suffer a future outbreak of infection. In this work we have analyzed the geographical distribution of the cumulative incidence during the first wave of the pandemic in the region of Galicia (north western part of Spain), and developed a mathematical approach that assigns a risk factor for each of the different municipalities that compose the region. This risk factor is independent of the actual evolution of the pandemic and incorporates geographic and demographic information. The comparison with empirical information from the first pandemic wave demonstrates the validity of the method. Our results can potentially be used to design appropriate preventive policies that help to contain the virus.
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