Changes in mobility patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia: implications for the effectiveness of NPIs in Sub-Saharan Africa [article]

Stacie Loisate, Simon Mutembo, Rohan Arambepola, Kabondo Makungo, Elliot N Kabalo, Nyambe B. Sinyange, Nathan Kapata, Mazyanga Liwewe, Andrew Silumezi, Gershom Chongwe, Natalya Kostandova, Shaun Truelove (+1 others)
2022 medRxiv   pre-print
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many facets of human behavior, including human mobility partially driven by the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as stay at home orders, travel restrictions, and workplace and school closures. Given the importance of human mobility in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, there have been an increase in analyses of mobility data to understand the COVID-19 pandemic to date. However, despite an abundance of these analyses, few have focused
more » ... on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Here, we use mobile phone calling data to provide a spatially refined analysis of sub-national human mobility patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020-July 2021 in Zambia. Overall, among highly trafficked intra-province routes, mobility decreased up to 52% from March-May 2020 compared to baseline, which was also the time period of the strictest NPIs. However, despite dips in mobility during the first wave of COVID-19 cases, mobility returned to baseline levels and did not drop again suggesting COVID-19 cases did not influence mobility in subsequent waves.
doi:10.1101/2022.07.20.22277849 fatcat:7y7qmaywhzbwppbvk6zwxe4dgq