COVID-19 poses a risk for all people.
The majority of the initial cases of COVID-19 were registered in urban areas. In many countries, initial cases were high in urban areas due to the arrival of international travellers. Early-stage transmission of COVID-19 tended to also occur in confined and densely populated urban areas.
As the pandemic progressed we have noticed an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases occurring in rural areas. The spread of cases from urban to rural areas can occur quite rapidly, particularly as lockdown conditions are imposed or lifted. For example, in India, the lockdown measures resulted in many people in urban areas suddenly returning to their home villages for a variety of socio-economic reasons, such as loss of employment opportunities, closure of schools and universities, and to provide social support for their families. A second wave of migration from Indian cities to rural areas is now underway as lockdown restrictions are lifted. Travel between urban and rural areas on crowded transport can also increase the risk of exposure.
Want to learn more about COVID-19 response in rural settings?
- What might make rural populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19?
- What are the challenges of COVID-19 prevention programmes in rural areas?
- What should be done as part of COVID-19 response in rural areas?
- Does COVID-19 create opportunities for improving the resilience of rural communities?