The mobility analysis of the mobile phone network shows that Valencians and Valencians have massively followed the containment measures. The data obtained thanks to a collaboration with the National Statistics Institute (INE), which provides the anonymized and aggregated information, reflects that 89% of the population has not left the residential environment and that movements have been limited to nearby destinations for attend to basic needs (supermarket, pharmacy, etc.), favoring the containment of infections.
This is one of the main conclusions of the study of the Data Science for COVID-19 working group whose objective is the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and data analysis to help better public decision-making in the context of coronavirus pandemic. The work, directed by the Commissioner of the Generalitat for the Valencian Strategy for AI, Nuria Oliver, and prepared within the framework of the collaboration established with the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence of the Third Vice-Presidency of the Government and Ministry of Affairs Economics and Digital Transformation and the INE, reflects that the percentage of the population that has remained at home (did not leave their residential environment) has reached maximum records of up to 96% in towns such as Dénia or Benicarló.
"It is important to highlight the capacity of commitment of Valencians to fulfill confinement measures. Responsibility has proven to be, without a doubt, an effective weapon to prevent the spread of COVID-19", highlights Ana Berenguer, general director of Analysis and Public Policies and promoter of the Valencian Strategy for Artificial Intelligence of the Valencian Community.
"From now on it will be essential to continue analyzing mobility data to develop predictive models that allow us to have the best information, make the appropriate decisions and be prepared for the staggered exit from confinement"adds Ana Berenguer. "This project is an inspiring example of collaboration between civil society, experts and public administrations"
Another of the concepts analyzed is the reduction of the radius of movement of citizens, that is, the reduction of the daily distance traveled. The average fall has been 59% in the province of Castellón, 58% in Alicante and 52% in Valencia. In all cases, the reduction is higher than that of Spain, which is 51%.
In addition, the data from the telephone operators show how, after the announcement of the containment measures in the tourist areas, there was an immediate decrease in the observed number of non-resident mobile phones in the Valencian Community. In this way, during the days 16 and 18 March in the Vila Joiosa health department (to which Benidorm is assigned) a reduction of 53% in the presence of mobile phones of people not domiciled in the Valencian Community is observed.
More than 8.500 estimated victims without mobility restriction application
The application and compliance with the confinement measures has prevented some 7.900 deaths according to the estimate adjusted to changes in mobility in the Valencian Community, which includes the work with data until April 6. This estimate has been obtained using an epidemiological model that reflects the impact of the containment measures. The group responsible for this work, within the IA Commissioner, is made up of experts and volunteer experts from the Universitat Jaume I, the Universitat de València, the Universitat Politècnica de València, the Miguel Hernández University, the University of Alicante, the CEU University Cardenal Herrera and the public health research foundation Fisabio.
The epidemiological model estimates the deaths of the virus at more than 8.500 victims if no indication had been adopted to restrict mobility.
In addition, it reflects that if only social distancing measures had been applied, the deceased would have been around 4.500, seven times more than those registered. The figure would have been more than 3.300 people if the restrictions had been limited to distancing, the closing of schools and massive events. In another of the evaluated scenarios, if the closure of non-essential economic activity had not been decided, the deaths would have been almost 1.500.
The model also shows that, if current hospitalization rates were applied (of 26% of those affected), if Valencians had not followed containment measures, more than 25.000 admissions would have been registered, of which 5.000 would have been in the intensive care units. Likewise, it indicates that the estimate of reported cases would have been multiplied by 13,5 if no measure had been taken.
The project coordinated by Nuria Oliver plans to continue analyzing the mobility data of subscribers of mobile phone lines to follow the evolution of the pandemic in the following weeks of confinement and in the de-escalation of movement restriction measures to evaluate their effectiveness and the impact they have on the health of citizens.
The work plan also contemplates advancing in other aspects, such as estimating the total number of those affected, including the asymptomatic population, and, based on this study, establishing the percentage of people who would already be immunized against COVID-19 .