Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (11): 2475-2489.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202011015

• Impacts of COVID-19 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal evolution process and integrated measures for prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic in China

LI Gang1,2,3(), WANG Jiaobei1, XU Tingting1, GAO Xing1, JIN Annan1, YU Yue1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, Xi'an 710127, China
    3. Institute of Earth Surface System and Hazards, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2020-03-31 Revised:2020-10-30 Online:2020-11-25 Published:2021-01-25
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of the Special Guidance Fund for Emergency Study on the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 by Northwest University(2020);Tang Scholar Program of Northwest University(2016);"Human-Environment Relations and Space Security" Characteristic & Advantage Research Team Construction Project of Northwest University(2019)


The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an unexpected emergency event in human society, is spreading globally and has severe impacts on human health and social development. Based on the confirmed COVID-19 cases' details manually extracted from the official reports and the relevant Point of Interest (POI) data, this paper aims to explore the sociodemographic characteristics of confirmed COVID-19 cases and examine the spatio-temporal evolution patterns on different spatial scales in China by using text analysis, spatial analysis and other methods. Furthermore, we provide targeted measures for prevention and control of this epidemic. The results indicate that: (1) In contrast to the twenty-four solar terms, the epidemic started at Heavy Snow, ran rampant in the Beginning of Spring, declined in the Awakening of Insects, and stagnated at the Vernal Equinox. It experienced four stages: the early period of Wuhan dominant outbreak, the middle period of cross-country diffusion, the later period of Wuhan dominant decline and the ending period of rare local epidemic transmission. (2) The spatial distribution presents a pattern of "one core, two arcs and multiple islands", mainly affected by the distance to Wuhan and the flow of population; the spatial evolution is manifested in the mode of "core outbreak - cluster occurrence - dispersion occurrence - point occurrence". The core aggregation area in each stage was located in Hubei province. Finally, by integrating the influencing factors and effective measures of the epidemic evolution in China, this paper proposes effective countermeasures for the spread of the current epidemic and the coordinated development of human resources in response to similar challenges in the future, which are manifested in instant response, coordinated cooperation, regular prevention and control, and strict prevention of importation, etc. Also, the directions of in-depth study in the future are pointed out.

Key words: COVID-19, major epidemic, spatio-temporal evolution, prevention and control measures, China