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Sylvain Tollis 1 Article
In-depth Correlation Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Effective Reproduction Number and Mobility Patterns: Three Groups of Countries
Mounir Ould Setti, Sylvain Tollis
J Prev Med Public Health. 2022;55(2):134-143.   Published online February 10, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Many governments have imposed—and are still imposing—mobility restrictions to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, there is no consensus on whether policy-induced reductions of human mobility effectively reduce the effective reproduction number (Rt) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several studies based on country-restricted data reported conflicting trends in the change of the SARS-CoV-2 Rt following mobility restrictions. The objective of this study was to examine, at the global scale, the existence of regional specificities in the correlations between Rt and human mobility.
We computed the Rt of SARS-CoV-2 using data on worldwide infection cases reported by the Johns Hopkins University, and analyzed the correlation between Rt and mobility indicators from the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports in 125 countries, as well as states/regions within the United States, using the Pearson correlation test, linear modeling, and quadratic modeling.
The correlation analysis identified countries where Rt negatively correlated with residential mobility, as expected by policymakers, but also countries where Rt positively correlated with residential mobility and countries with more complex correlation patterns. The correlations between Rt and residential mobility were non-linear in many countries, indicating an optimal level above which increasing residential mobility is counterproductive.
Our results indicate that, in order to effectively reduce viral circulation, mobility restriction measures must be tailored by region, considering local cultural determinants and social behaviors. We believe that our results have the potential to guide differential refinement of mobility restriction policies at a country/regional resolution.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • The effect of social movements on COVID-19 case increases and death in Turkey
    Mehmet Akif Gun, Onder Hanci
    Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health.2023; 20: 101260.     CrossRef
  • The effects of weather and mobility on respiratory viruses dynamics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA and Canada
    Irma Varela-Lasheras, Lilia Perfeito, Sara Mesquita, Joana Gonçalves-Sá, Ryan S. McGinnis
    PLOS Digital Health.2023; 2(12): e0000405.     CrossRef

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health