On March 11, 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, as a pandemic on the basis of “alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.” Hence, it is urgent and imperative to evaluate the risk of COVID-19 for as many global locations as possible. This study calculates the relative risk of the importation and exportation of the COVID-19 virus. The study's most important contribution is the calculation of the overall relative risk of the importation and exportation of COVID-19 from every airport in local municipalities around the world, based on global spatial and mapping information. Three scenarios of air travel restriction are considered, and the change in the risk of importation and exportation of COVID-19 is calculated. The relative risk of importation and exportation of COVID-19 clearly shows that not only China, Europe, Middle East, and East Asia, but also the U.S., Australia, and countries in northeast Asia and Latin America are subject to risk. Further, a larger reduction in air travel through airports in a large part of the cumulative incidence area would lead to a gradual decrease in the risk flow. Importantly, the exportation risk of the disease from some airports in China, Iran, and European countries has a higher global spread than the importation risk during the pandemic stage. Therefore, every airport, or government with airports in their jurisdiction, should implement strict countermeasures. It is also indispensable for these countries to undertake countermeasures for COVID-19, such as home quarantine within each country and restricting infected or suspected individuals from flying on airplanes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development