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The covid-19 pandemic situation in Malaysia: lessons learned from the perspective of population density

Aw, S. B. and Teh, B. T. and Ling, G. H. T. and Leng, P. C. and Chan, W. H. and Ahmad, M. H. (2021) The covid-19 pandemic situation in Malaysia: lessons learned from the perspective of population density. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (12). ISSN 1661-7827


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126566


This paper attempts to ascertain the impacts of population density on the spread and severity of COVID-19 in Malaysia. Besides describing the spatio-temporal contagion risk of the virus, ultimately, it seeks to test the hypothesis that higher population density results in exacerbated COVID-19 virulence in the community. The population density of 143 districts in Malaysia, as per data from Malaysia’s 2010 population census, was plotted against cumulative COVID-19 cases and infection rates of COVID-19 cases, which were obtained from Malaysia’s Ministry of Health official website. The data of these three variables were collected between 19 January 2020 and 31 December 2020. Based on the observations, districts that have high population densities and are highly inter-connected with neighbouring districts, whether geographically, socio-economically, or infrastructurally, tend to experience spikes in COVID-19 cases within weeks of each other. Using a parametric approach of the Pearson correlation, population density was found to have a moderately strong relationship to cumulative COVID-19 cases (p-value of 0.000 and R2 of 0.415) and a weak relationship to COVID-19 infection rates (p-value of 0.005 and R2 of 0.047). Consequently, we provide several non-pharmaceutical lessons, including urban planning strategies, as passive containment measures that may better support disease interventions against future contagious diseases.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:non-pharmaceutical measures, pearson correlations, population density
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT101-395 Sociology, Urban
Divisions:Built Environment
ID Code:94071
Deposited By: Narimah Nawil
Deposited On:28 Feb 2022 21:17
Last Modified:28 Feb 2022 21:17

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