Geospatial models for SARS-CoV-2 outbreak control in Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia, 2020

Zapata Bedoya et al.


Determine the temporal and spatial structure of the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARSCoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia, in order to take necessary actions to support contact tracing.


Cross-sectional ecological study with spatial analysis based on kernel densities of variables, including cases, mobile application alerts, population vulnerability, multidimensional poverty index; inverse distance weighted spatial interpolation of active cases; and, finally, the spatial superposition technique as a final result. The database of the National Institute of Health of the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla and the Department of National Statistics was used.


The analysis identified an upward epidemiological trend in cases in the two cities, and determined the spatial direction of disease spread in neighborhoods, through spatial interpolation. Intervention areas were detected in 15 neighborhoods in Cartagena and 13 in Barranquilla, 50 meters around active cases with fewer than 21 days of evolution and by geographical risk layers, as a mechanism to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Spatial analysis proved to be a useful complementary methodology for contact tracing, by determining temporal and spatial structure and providing necessary scientific evidence for the application of direct intervention measures, where necessary, to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

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