Effectiveness of human mobility change in reducing the spread of COVID-19: ecological study of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mohamed Ali Alzain*, Collins Otieno Asweto, Suleman Atique, Najm Eldinn Elsser Elhassan, Ahmed Kassar, Sehar-un-Nisa Hassan, Mohammed Ismail Humaida, Rafeek Adeyemi Yusuf, Adeniyi Abolaji Adeboye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Non-pharmacological interventions including mobility restriction have been developed to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We provided precise estimates of disease burden and examined the impact of mobility restriction on reducing the COVID-19 effective reproduction number in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This study involved secondary analysis of open-access COVID-19 data obtained from different sources between 2 March and 26 December 2020. The dependent and main independent variables of interest were the effective reproduction number and anonymized mobility indices, respectively. Multiple linear regression was used to investigate the relationship between the community mobility change and the effective reproduction number for COVID-19. By 26 December 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia reached 360,690, with a cumulative incidence rate of 105.41/10,000 population. Al Jouf, Northern Border, and Jazan regions were ≥2.5 times (OR = 2.93; 95% CI: 1.29–6.64), (OR = 2.50; 95% CI: 1.08–5.81), and (OR = 2.51; 95% CI: 1.09–5.79) more likely to have a higher case fatality rate than Riyadh, the capital. Mobility changes in public and residential areas were significant predictors of the COVID-19 effective reproduction number. This study demonstrated that community mobility restrictions effectively control transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3368
Number of pages10
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Early online date13 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • transmission
  • effective reproduction number
  • community mobility restriction
  • case fatality rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of human mobility change in reducing the spread of COVID-19: ecological study of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this