Post-lockdown spread of COVID-19 from cities to vulnerable forest-fringe villages in Central India

DeFries R.,
Agarwala M.,
Baquie S.,
Choksi P.,
Dogra N.,
Preetha G.S.,
Khanwilkar S.,
Mondal P.,
Nagendra H.,
Urpelainen J.
Document Type
Source Title
Current Science
Indian Academy of Sciences


Seasonal migration to cities is a common livelihood strategy for forest-fringe households in central India. Based on a previously collected household survey of 5000 villages across 500 forest-fringe villages in 32 dis-tricts of central India, we identify migration patterns over the last 5 years. Villages with seasonal workers are widely dispersed (75% of surveyed villages) and 81% of destination cities had reported COVID-19 cas-es at the beginning of the lockdown. Using a disease spread model to assess distancing strategies if return-ing migrants carry the virus to villages, we find that lenient restrictions for people within a village com-bined with maximal restrictions between villages could reduce the number of people exposed compared with moderate restrictions both within and between villages. Such a 'village bubble' strategy could reduce the risk of spread among vulnerable populations and requires that essential goods reach villages. © Indian Academy of Sciences.

Migration angle
Region/Country (by coverage)