The Role of Mobility in the Dynamics of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Andalusia

Z. Rapti, J. Cuevas-Maraver, E. Kontou, S. Liu, Y. Drossinos, P. G. Kevrekidis, M. Barmann, Q. Y. Chen, G. A. Kevrekidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metapopulation models have been a popular tool for the study of epidemic spread over a network of highly populated nodes (cities, provinces, countries) and have been extensively used in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the present work, we revisit such a model, bearing a particular case example in mind, namely that of the region of Andalusia in Spain during the period of the summer-fall of 2020 (i.e., between the first and second pandemic waves). Our aim is to consider the possibility of incorporation of mobility across the province nodes focusing on mobile-phone time-dependent data, but also discussing the comparison for our case example with a gravity model, as well as with the dynamics in the absence of mobility. Our main finding is that mobility is key toward a quantitative understanding of the emergence of the second wave of the pandemic and that the most accurate way to capture it involves dynamic (rather than static) inclusion of time-dependent mobility matrices based on cell-phone data. Alternatives bearing no mobility are unable to capture the trends revealed by the data in the context of the metapopulation model considered herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • COVID-19 epidemic
  • Gravity law
  • Human mobility
  • Metapopulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics


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