The effectiveness of the restricted policy on specific venues in Hong Kong: A spatial point pattern view

Submitted: 5 July 2022
Accepted: 9 November 2022
Published: 29 November 2022
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After the fifth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in May 2022, the Hong Kong government decided to ease the restrictions policy step by step. The main change was to re-open some venues that people like to visit and extend the hours of operation. With the implementation of the relaxed policy, however, the number of confirmed cases rose again. As a result, further relaxation was delayed. As an evaluation of the effectiveness of the restrictions policy could be a reference for future policies balancing viral spread and functionality of society, this paper aimed to respond to this question from the spatial point distribution view. The time, from late March 2020 to February 2021, during which the related policies took place was divided into six periods based on the policy trend (tightening or relaxing). The two-variable Ripley’s Kfunction was applied for each period to explore the spatial dependence between confirmed cases and venues as changes in the spatial pattern can reveal the effect of the policy. The results show that, as time passed, the clustering degree decreased and reached its lowest level from August to mid-November 2020, then significantly increased, with the extent of clustering becoming more remarkable and the significant cluster size widening. Our results indicate that the policy had a positive effect on suppressing the spread of the virus in mid-July 2020. Then, with the virus infiltrating the community, the policy had little impact on containing the virus but likely contributed to avoid further infection.

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How to Cite

Liu, Y., Shi, W., Zhang, A., & Zhu, X. (2022). The effectiveness of the restricted policy on specific venues in Hong Kong: A spatial point pattern view. Geospatial Health, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2022.1130

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