Effectiveness of Containment Strategies and Cognition to Control Vehicular Traffic during COVID-19
Full title: Effectiveness of containment strategies and local cognition to control vehicular traffic volume in Dhaka, Bangladesh during COVID-19 pandemic: Use of Google Map based real-time traffic data
Journal: PLOS One
Niaz Mahmud Zafri
Mohammad Ashraf Ali
Md. Musleh Uddin Hasan
Md. Hamidur Rahman
Abstract: Background: To prevent the viral transmission from higher infected to lower infected area, controlling the vehicular traffic, consequently public movement on roads is crucial. Containment strategies and local cognition regarding pandemic might be helpful to control vehicular movement. This study aimed to ascertain the effectiveness of containment strategies and local cognition for controlling traffic volume during COVID-19 pandemic in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Method: Six containment strategies were considered to explore their influence on traffic condition, including declaration of general holiday, closure of educational institution, deployment of force, restriction on religious gathering, closure of commercial activities, and closure of garments factories. Newspaper coverage and public concern about COVID-19 were considered as local cognition in this research. The month of Ramadan as a potential event was also taken into account considering it might have an impact on the overall situation. Average daily journey speed (ADJS) was calculated from real-time traffic data of Google Map to understand the vehicular traffic scenario of Dhaka. A multiple linear regression method was developed to comprehend the findings. Results: The results showed that among the containment strategies, declaration of general holiday and closure of educational institutions could increase the ADJS significantly, thereby referring to less traffic movement. Besides, local cognition could not significantly affect the traffic condition, although the month of Ramadan could increase the ADJS significantly. Conclusion: It is expected that these findings would provide new insights into decision-making and help to take appropriate strategies to tackle the future pandemic situation.