Fig. 3 (a) demonstrates the spatial distribution of the hotspots under JMC. The COVID-19 hotspot density lies more in the north-eastern (NE) zone of the study area, as shown in the map of this figure. It is evident from the map that the density of hotspots is very high in the densely populated zone of the study area. Hence, the hazard level for the wards of the NE zone is comparatively more elevated, and as a result, the communities there are under more significant threat of the infection.
COVID-19 risk analysis of the study area under JMC, Jaipur
Using Eq. (1), the spatial distribution of the COVID-19 hazard, vulnerability, and risk for all the wards under JMC are shown in Fig. 5 a, b and c, respectively. We have categorized them into five classes each, red (very high) followed by orange (high), blue (moderate), green (low), and pink (very low). The final risk assessment being the integration of hazard and vulnerability components, is shown in Fig. 5 (c) and is being discussed hereunder. The results indicated that out of the total area of JMC (379 km2), 6.13 km2 (6.13%) fall in red risk zone followed by 60.38 km2 (15.91%) in orange, 139.63 km2 (36.79%) in blue, 164.51 km2 (43.34%) in green and 8.9 km2 (2.34%) in pink risk zone. The risk assessment results indicate that majority of areas under high-risk zones (red and orange) concentrate along the north-eastern and south-western zones of the study area with some scattered zones of red and orange in eastern and south-eastern zones along the borders of the JMC. As a result, the risk of all the north-eastern and south-western zone wards of the study area is higher for all the risk categories. As a result, the population in these wards is particularly under a more significant threat of the COVID-19 infection.
Promoting risk-informed COVID-19 management of JMC study area
The results from the CRAM framework depict significant spatial variation, indicating a higher risk for the wards of the north-eastern zone as compared to the wards of other zones, as shown in Fig. 5 (c) referring to the higher number of the hotspots of COVID-19 in this zone of the JMC. We propose that globally, the risks of COVID-19 (C19R) infection and spread can only be managed using risk-informed planning until a cure or vaccine is available, so that the economy and livelihood of the people and countries as a whole, do not suffer. By analyzing the spatial distribution of the C19R to prioritize the lowest levels of administrative boundaries (wards in our case) for planning risk mitigation approaches and resource distribution, it can be achieved. The CRAM framework aims to support this purpose for the area falling under Jaipur municipal corporation (JMC), because the framework had a spatial component in the COVID-19 risk evaluation.
The results have indicated that areas falling under wards 31, 53, 54, 58, 59, 68, 69, 73, are under very high risk, as more than 80% of their areas fall under the red risk zone. Whereas areas falling under wards 03, 13, 14, 15, 17, 31, 34, 44, 46, 50, 51, 55, 56, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 71, 72, and 74 are under high risk as similarly, more than 80% of their areas fall under orange risk zone. The results also indicate the wards of east, west, and north zones are comparatively at lower risk due to the lower hazard probability as well as lower population density and greater availability of water for sanitation, as depicted in Fig. 5 (a-c). Conversely, the results also indicate that north-east and south-west zone wards are at very high risk for COVID-19 due to higher total population, population density, and comparatively lesser availability of the water for sanitation. This information is vital for risk-informed planning for the eradication of COVID-19 threat in these areas.
We propose that the wards under very high risk and high risk may be considered as containment zones through extended lockdowns until the daily number of confirmed positive cases come to near zero. Moreover, such areas shall need an increase in the rate of testing for COVID-19 infection to identify infected persons for isolation and quarantine. Overall, we propose a detailed management strategy shown in Table 3 for all the areas under different risk zones shown in Fig. 5 (c)23.
Currently, the COVID-19 threat is a global pandemic, and countries can combat it in the long run only through a risk-informed planning, as it appears that the disease is going to remain in the category of non-curable diseases for some time24. Moreover, in the developing world, the COVID-19 risk informed decision making has to be taken to the panchayat and local mohalla levels to contain virus without affecting the economy. This work shall serve as a baseline methodology in other regions of the country and the world with a similar setup.