Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 1-11.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003312

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The Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Risks of COVID-19 Pandemic Based on the Effects of Traffic Control

Fangqu Niu1(), Zhongling Xin1,3, Fang Wang2()   

  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences/Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2.School of Public Management, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010070, China
    3.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-07-04 Revised:2021-01-14 Online:2021-01-05 Published:2021-02-19
  • Contact: Fang Wang;


On December 31st, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued the first report of the pneumonia epidemic of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Studies regarding the relationships between traffic and the epidemic situation are far from systematic. When the epidemic broke out in Wuhan, Hubei province, an important transportation hub of China, it occurred at the peak of Spring Festival-related travel. Therefore, the relationships between the spread of the epidemic and the impact of traffic have remained underexplored. This paper systematically analyzes the spatiotemporal characteristics, hazards, and the growth trend of COVID-19 spread from a macroscopic and full sample perspective, to provide a comprehensive understanding toward epidemic prevention and control in China and abroad. The analysis performed in this article is based on the publicly available data, using the basic reproductive number measure and complex network method. This study found the following. First, the overall growth of the epidemic is exponential, and the outbreak of Hubei province in China has a strong spread in the eastern and southern directions. Provinces such as Jiangsu, Hunan, and Fujian have seen rapid day-to-day growth rates, and the epidemic situation is generally more serious in the capital or the developed city in each province. Based on analyzing the disturbance of the spread of the epidemic through traffic control, the average incubation period of COVID-19 was approximately found to be four days and the number of basic regenerations showed a downward trend in fluctuation. As of April 8th, the R0 in all regions of China tended to be one. The ratio of cure to death outside Hubei province is much higher than that within Hubei province, indicating that with sufficient medical resources, the risk of the epidemic can be greatly reduced, and it is not to be feared. Second, the quarantine policy of Hubei has a greater impact on cities with higher centrality. From the perspective of changes in centrality, most cities in the northern region have increased their centrality, indicating that the region's connection with Hubei Province is relatively weak. The cities with decreasing centrality are mainly located in the Beijing-Guangzhou line and the Yangtze River Delta. Similarly, the changes in the bottom 20 cities on the centrality ranking are also analyzed. Except for a slight change in the ranking, the cities have been not affected. Additionally, before and after the "closing of the Hubei province", the number of edges of China's railway network, Beta and gamma indicators all declined, but the decline was not significant. Thus, although Hubei plays an important role in China's railway network, in general, the " quarantine of the Hubei province" does not have a particularly large impact on China's entire railway network.

Key words: COVID-19, railway transportation, epidemic spread, basic reproductive number, incubation

CLC Number: 

  • R181.8