Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (4): 708-722.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003367

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Geographical Analysis of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Hunan Province, China in 2020

Shengsheng Gong(), Hui Mo   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences // Research Institute of Sustainable Development, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2021-02-27 Revised:2021-04-06 Online:2021-08-16 Published:2021-08-16


The COVID-19 epidemic spread globally at the start of 2020, resulting in a wide range of diffusion of infectious diseases. At present, SARS-CoV-2 is still prevalent worldwide, and it is of great practical significance to strengthen the study on the COVID-19 epidemic. Based on the COVID-19 confirmed cases and incidence, this article explored both the temporal and spatial distribution pattern of COVID-19 in Hunan Province and its influencing variables between January 21 and February 28, 2020 by using ArcGIS 10.3 and GeoDetector. The results show that: 1) The epidemic evolved with temporal phasing. The epidemic in Hunan Province can be divided into four basic stages: the diffusion period, peak period, decay period, and the stagnant period.The first COVID-19 confirmed case of 84.47% affected counties was imported from Wuhan;2) The epidemic spread as a result of transportation convenience. The confirmed COVID-19 cases were concentrated near major railway lines, which were also high-incidence areas. The epidemic occurred "early in prefecture-level cities and frequently in urban areas"; 3) the extent of the epidemic has distance attenuation. The COVID-19 cases and high-incidence areas were mainly distributed in the middle, north, and northeast of Hunan, in regions in proximity to Wuhan; 4) the epidemic was distributed with spatial aggregation. The agglomeration level of cases and incidences increased first and then remained high. The hot spots identified are in Changzhutan and Yueyang City, while the cold spots are in Xiangxi Prefecture; 5) the epidemic prevalence was of variable interaction. Wind-free, cold and dry weather was more conducive to the spread of the epidemic; population density, road network density and GDP were the main factors affecting the epidemic spatial differentiation; and the strongest variable interaction happened between natural and social factors. 6) the influencing variables of the COVID-19 epidemic have spatial heterogeneity. The impacts of spatial distance and population density have spatial heterogeneity on both the reported cases the total infections rates of COVID-19, spatial distance has the greatest impact in northeast Hunan, and population density has the greatest impact in northwest and northern Hunan; but the mobility of population and the number of health technicians only have spatial heterogeneity of impacts on the reported cases of COVID-19, the impact of population mobility is diminishing from north to south in Hunan, and the influence of the number of health technicians decreases gradually with the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city agglomeration as the core to the outer circle.The paper's conclusions are consistent with other scholars' studies in other regions, confirming that the epidemic not only spreads significantly in neighboring areas, but there are also "jump spreads" to distant cities that rely on the transportation network in Hunan. It is evident that restricting the entry of residents of affected areas plays a key role in COVID-19 prevention and control, and moreover, allocating plentiful health technicians, executing rigorous transport quarantine, and adopting compatible preventing measures with local and temporal conditions, are the top priorities in effectively responding to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Key words: COVID-19 epidemic, transmission path, spatial-temporal pattern, Hunan Province

CLC Number: 

  • R181.8