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Population density index and its use for distribution of covid-19: A case study using Turkish data

Baser, Onur (2020): Population density index and its use for distribution of covid-19: A case study using Turkish data.

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Abstract

Since March 2020, Turkey has been experiencing a large outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We estimated the population weighted density for each of the 81 cities in Turkey as well as the districts of its three densest cities. Istanbul, a city of 16 million, has a district with a population weighted density more than 5 times higher than New York City, the epicenter of Covid-19 pandemic. By using weighted least squares, we calculated the elasticity of the Covid-19 spread with respect to population weighted density as 0.67. In addition to the density, the proportion of people over 65, the per capita GDP, and the number of total health care workers in each city positively contributed to the case numbers, while education level and temperature had a negative effect. We suggested a policy measure on how to transfer health care workers from different areas to the areas with a possibility of wide spread and rank some of the cities according to their success at minimizing death given their population weighted density.

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