Dissemination of COVID-19 in cities and riverine communities in Central Amazonia
Keywords:coronavirus, SIR, Amazon, rural communities, COVID-19, pandemic, social distancing
The population of small towns and riverine communities in Amazonia are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the absence of basic health care infrastructure in the region. The objective of this study was to (1) evaluate the effect of social distancing measures in the dissemination of COVID-19 in small towns, and (2) to estimate the impact of reducing contact between rural and urban populations on the contamination of riverine communities of Central Amazon. Our results indicate that social distancing can significantly reduce the speed of dissemination of COVID-19 in the population of small towns. However, we also observed that even in towns with intense actions to combat COVID-19, social distancing is below the ideal 70% isolation mark. Regarding the contamination of riverine communities, we observed that the reduction in the number of visits and duration of stay, as well as the interruption of visits during the five weeks with larger probability of contamination has major impact on delaying the arrival of COVID-19 in these vulnerable populations. We recommend that, given the low effectiveness of social distancing measures and the rapid contamination of urban populations, each municipality should evaluate implementing more restrictive measures such as a full or partial lockdown. Our results also suggest that three measures can be effective in delaying the arrival of COVID-19 in riverine communities of Amazonia: (1) the reduction in the number of visits that each community makes to a town, (2) the reduction in duration of each visit, and (3) avoiding visits during the five weeks with the largest number of infected people in towns. It is imperative that implementation of any of the restrictive measures suggested in this publication be accompanied by a vast communication campaign as well as social assistance actions for the rural population and poor families of small towns to guarantee their basic needs for survival.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Emiliano Esterci Ramalho, Ivan Junqueira, Fabrício Baccaro, Alison L. Hill, Maria Isabel F. P. O. Martins, Daniele Cristina Barcelos, Jefferson Ferreira-Ferreira, Heloísa Corrêa Pereira, Dávila Suelen Souza Corrêa, Hudson Cruz das Chagas, Ana Claudeise Silva do Nascimento
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