Google published community mobility reports on 131 countries to help public health officials identify the places that witnessed a drop in footfalls due to lockdowns and movement restrictions. The company said that the reports will provide insights into the change in response to work from home, stay-at-home, and other similar guidelines issued by various governments to help flatten the curve of coronavirus pandemic.
The reports show the movement trends over time across different frequently-visited places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. The big-tech company assured that the report has been developed while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies.
“We will release these reports globally, initially covering 131 countries and regions. Given the urgent need for this information, where possible we will also provide insights at the regional level,” said Google in a statement.
According to the report, India witnessed a 77 per cent drop in mobility trends for places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theatres. Meanwhile, grocery markets, drug stores and pharmacies, which are categorised under “essential services” in India, witnessed a 65 per cent in mobility trends.
With lockdowns and stay-at-home guidelines, the mobility trend in residential places expectedly showed an upward trend with a 22 per cent increase. The upwards mobility in residential areas directly impact workplaces that have registered a drop of 47 per cent in the mobility trend.
Google warned that the report shouldn’t be used for medical diagnostic, prognostic, or treatment purposes, adding that the purpose of the data is to help people and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance related to COVID-19. It said that persistent visits to transportation hubs might indicate the need to add additional buses or trains in order to allow people who need to travel room to spread out for social distancing.
“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,” added Google.
(Image Credit: Google)