BackgroundThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic met coincidentally with massive migration before Lunar New Year in China in early 2020. This study is to investigate the relationship between the massive migration and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in China.
MethodsThe epidemic data between January 25th and February 15th and migration data between Jan 1st and Jan 24th were collected from the official websites. Using the R package WGCNA, we established a scale-free network of the selected cities. Correlation analysis was applied to describe the correlation between the Spring Migration and COVID-19 epidemic.
ResultsThe epidemic seriousness in Hubei (except the city of Wuhan) was closely correlated with the migration from Wuhan between January 10 and January 24, 2020. The epidemic seriousness in the other provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions was largely affected by the immigration from Wuhan. By establishing a scale-free network of the regions, we divided the regions into two modules. The regions in the brown module consisted of three municipalities, nine provincial capitals and other 12 cities. The COVID-19 epidemics in these regions were more likely to be aggravated by migration.
ConclusionsThe migration from Wuhan could partly explain the epidemic seriousness in Hubei Province and other regions. The scale-free network we have established can better evaluate the epidemic. Three municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), eight provincial capitals (including Nanjing, Changsha et al.) and 12 other cities (including Qingdao, Zhongshan, Shenzhen et al.) were hub cities in the spread of COVID-19 in China.