The Relationship between the Migrant Population's Migration Network and the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission in China-Empirical Analysis and Prediction in Prefecture-Level Cities

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr 11;17(8):2630. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17082630.


The outbreak of COVID-19 in China has attracted wide attention from all over the world. The impact of COVID-19 has been significant, raising concerns regarding public health risks in China and worldwide. Migration may be the primary reason for the long-distance transmission of the disease. In this study, the following analyses were performed. (1) Using the data from the China migrant population survey in 2017 (Sample size = 432,907), a matrix of the residence-birthplace (R-B matrix) of migrant populations is constructed. The matrix was used to analyze the confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Prefecture-level Cities from February 1-15, 2020 after the outbreak in Wuhan, by calculating the probability of influx or outflow migration. We obtain a satisfactory regression analysis result (R2 = 0.826-0.887, N = 330). (2) We use this R-B matrix to simulate an outbreak scenario in 22 immigrant cities in China, and propose risk prevention measures after the outbreak. If similar scenarios occur in the cities of Wenzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, or Shenzhen, the disease transmission will be wider. (3) We also use a matrix to determine that cities in Henan province, Anhui province, and Municipalities (such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing) in China will have a high risk level of disease carriers after a similar emerging epidemic outbreak scenario due to a high influx or outflow of migrant populations.

Keywords: COVID-19 transmission; China; Spring Festival travel rush; emerging epidemic; migrant population; migration network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cities
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Epidemics
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Travel