Analysis on early spatiotemporal transmission characteristics of COVID-19 [新型冠状病毒肺炎早期时空传播特征分析]

Wang C.,
Yan J.,
Wang X.,
Li M.
Document Type
Source Title
Wuli Xuebao/Acta Physica Sinica
Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences


In this paper, a simple susceptible-infected (SI) model is build for simulating the early phase of COVID-19 transmission process. By using the data collected from the newest epidemiological investigation, the parameters of SI model is estimated and compared with those from some other studies. The population migration data during Spring festival in China are collected from Baidu. com and also extracted from different news sources, the migration characteristic of Wuhan city in the early phase of the epidemic situation is captured, and substituted into a simple difference equation model which is modified from the SI model for supporting migrations. Then several simulations are performed for the spatiotemporal transmission process of COVID-19 in China. Some conclusions are drawn from simulations and experiments below. 1) With 95% confidence, the infection rate of COVID-19 is estimated to be in a range of 0.2068–0.2073 in general situation, and the corresponding basic reproduction number R0 is estimated to be in a range of 2.5510–2.6555. A case study shows that under an extreme condition, the infection rate and R0 are estimated to be 0.2862 and 3.1465, respectively. 2) The Pearson correlation coefficient between Baidu migration index and the number of travelers sent by railway is 0.9108, which indicates a strong linear correlation between them, thus it can be deduced that Baidu migration index is an efficient tool for estimating the migration situation. 3) The epidemic arrival times for different provinces in China are estimated via simulations, specifically, no more than 1 day within an estimation error of 41.38%; no more than 3 days within an error of 79.31%, and no more than 5 days with an error of 95.55%. An average estimation error is 2.14 days. © 2020 Chinese Physical Society.

Migration angle
Region/Country (by coverage)
Index Keywords

Cell proliferation; Correlation methods; Difference equations; Errors; Population dynamics; Population statistics; Basic reproduction number; Estimation errors; Extreme conditions; General situation; Infection rates; Linear correlation; Pearson correlation coefficients; Transmission characteristics; Transmissions