India ranks 17th among countries most at risk of importing coronavirus cases, the virus that originated in China's Wuhan area in December 2019.
Researchers have derived this on the basis of a mathematical model for the expected global spread of the 2019-nCoV virus. The new model for predicting global novel coronavirus cases has been developed by researchers from Humboldt University and Robert Koch Institute in Germany.
So far India has reported three coronavirus positive cases - all from Kerala.
Among the airports in India, the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is most at risk, followed by airports in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi, according to the model.
"The spread of the virus on an international scale is dominated by air travel," said the study.
"Wuhan, the seventh-largest city in China with 11 million residents, was the relevant major domestic air transportation hub with many connecting international flights before the city was effectively quarantined on January 23, 2020, and the Wuhan airport was closed. By then the virus had already spread to other Chinese provinces as well as other countries," it added.
The researchers said that it is possible to estimate the likely spread of the virus to other areas, by looking at air travel passenger numbers.
"The busier a flight route, the more probable it is that an infected passenger travels this route. Using these probabilistic concepts, we calculate the relative import risk to other airports. When calculating the import risk, we also take into account connecting flights and travel routes that involve multiple destinations," said the study.
The top 10 countries and regions at risk of importing coronavirus cases are: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia, according to the model.
While Thailand's national import risk is 2.1 per cent, it is 0.2 per cent for India, found the research.
Although about 20 countries have confirmed cases, China has accounted for about 99 per cent of those infected. The first foreign victims of the virus both died on Saturday in Wuhan.