Google on Friday released the COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports for 131 countries which shows how the lockdown has resulted in rather uncluttered movement in public places. The report has put into use “aggregated and anonymised data to chart movement trends over time by geography” across a range of places which include grocery and pharmacy stores, parks, workplaces and places of transit among other things.
“We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-to-72 hours prior. While we display a percentage point increase or decrease in visits, we do not share the absolute number of visits,” Karen DeSalvo, Chief Health Officer of Google Health informed in blog post.
The company has also put into use similar data in Google Maps to show how busy certain types of places are and then this then helps ‘identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded’.
Google also hopes that this information would the help officials in respective countries to “understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings” during the lockdown which has been put into place in different countries owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Ultimately, understanding not only whether people are travelling, but also trends in destinations, can help officials design guidance to protect public health and essential needs of communities,” DeSalvo further write in the blog post.
So what does the Google data say: There has been a 77% decrease in the visits to retail and recreational places such as cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters in India ranging between February 16 and March 29 in India.
Also, there has been a 65% dip in visits to grocery and pharmacy stores, as well as visits to parks and public beaches have reduced by 57%.