Outbreaks originating in big cities likely to spread faster across nation: Paper
Distance is not a good predictor of the infection spread with outbreaks in bigger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai likely to affect Bengaluru in just 2.38 days while those in a closer place like Tirupati are likely to reach there in 5.06 days, according to a model developed by researchers at Pune’s Indian Institute of Science, Education, and Research. The model is part of a paper, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, and is based on mapping of air, train, and road travel patterns from cities with over 10,00,00 population.
Most of the models to date have used air travel as an indicator for the infection spread. But in the Indian context, other modes of travel are equally important as a significant proportion of the population travels by trains.
“Remarkably, even in a heterogeneous country like India, where air travel is by far the least popular mode of transport, accounting for less than 1% of all mobility, the linearity holds good,” says the paper. The paper explains that this is because air transport has the largest reach.
“If only the mobility by air is considered with Bangalore (Bengaluru) as an outbreak city, then even the farthest cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai display high hazard values. In comparison, if train mobility alone is considered, most of the high hazard cities in the Top-10 list are located within south India. It must be noted that cities like Mumbai and Delhi would still have significant hazard values, but they do not figure in the Top-10 list,” the paper says.