April 6, 2020 12:54:00 am
Tracking change following measures implemented to check COVID-19, Community Mobility Reports, prepared by Google on the basis of data used in its products, show a huge decline in visits and length of stay at retail and recreation sites, grocery stores and pharmacies, parks, public transport hubs and workplaces. These reports, on the other hand, show a marked increase in mobility trend to the place of residence.
According to the report with data as of March 29, mobility trends — visits and length of stay — for places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theatres have gone down by 77 per cent from the baseline. This is on anticipated lines since all recreation sites, restaurants and cafes have been shut down after the government announced a three-week lockdown, starting March 24 midnight.
The baseline for the report — to make the comparison with the latest data — is the median value for the corresponding day of the week, during the 5-week period from January 3 to February 6.
The report charts movement trends over time in India, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas. It is useful in understanding the impact of government’s measures on social distancing efforts as well as access to essential services.
Incidentally, there has been only a 47 per cent decline in visits and stay for workplaces, despite the lockdown period forcing most companies to adopt work-from-home measures for their staff. Offices involved in essential duties and factories producing essential goods, however, have been exempt from these measures during the lockdown period.
Even though the lockdown exempted these as essential services, there is a 65 per cent decline in the visits and length of stay to places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, drug stores, and pharmacies, as on March 29.
Mobility trends for places like national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens, which have all been shut during the lockdown, show a decline of only 57 per cent.
There is a 71 per cent decline in visits and stay for places like public transport hubs such as metros, bus and train stations, as per the Google report. Most public transport hubs have been closed for the lockdown, although certain public transport facilities have been kept functional for transporting staff on essential duties.
Mobility trends for places of residence have gone up by 22 per cent during the lockdown, compared to the baseline period. This is on expected lines during the lockdown period, where the whole country has been brought to a halt to check the spread of COVID-19.
According to Google, these insights have been calculated based on data from users who have opted-in to Location History for their Google account, so the data represents only a sample of our users. This, Google says, may or may not represent the exact behaviour of a wider population.
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