GRID3 has released 50 new datasets that can support countries looking to use nuanced, data-driven approaches in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus. These data provide information on urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa where population density and the spatial arrangement of buildings may make it difficult to maintain physical distancing (also known as “social distancing”).
“This information can be used by public health officials to identify where there is potential for rapid spread, and where additional measures may be needed to limit the spread of the virus. It may also be beneficial as an advocacy tool for communities in affected areas, as it provides evidence of the difficulties they face in complying with COVID-19 restrictions,“ explains Heather Chamberlain, a GRID3 expert who worked on the datasets.
To ensure these data can be widely used, GRID3 will be developing interactive maps that enable public health officials to perform relevant analyses critical for COVID-19-focused interventions, such as planning for vaccination campaigns. The data will also be shared with stakeholders who can use the information to plan for and respond to coronavirus outbreaks.