Google has released a report that reveals that during India’s coronavirus lockdown, the number of people visiting the public places has gone down significantly. Google's COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for India has divided the trends into six categories that include groceries and pharmacies, retail and recreation, transit stations, residential, workplaces and parks. A huge drop has been noticed in case of people visiting parks, hotels, metro, buses, railway stations and restaurants, highlighting the effectiveness of the lockdown strategy by the Indian government.
The report depicts a 77 percent decrease in the visit to retail and recreational places that are cafes, shops and restaurants, theme parks, libraries and museums by the end of March 2020. Apart from this, there has been a 65 percent dip in visits to grocery stores and pharmacies. Public transit stations have also seen 71 percent decline in visits as people have been mostly working from homes. Google has found that the only place that has witnessed a surge is people's houses as they’re staying at home. There has been a 22 per cent increase in visits to residences.
It is to note that Google used a similar approach used in Google Maps that identifies how some places during a certain time are busiest. The report released by Google does not only measure the response to social distancing in India but other countries as well. It has shown movements of people across 131 countries and focused on how visits to different places at different times has changed when compared to baseline (before coronavirus outbreak). The company has done its analysis for days between February 16 and March 29 this year.
Companies like Google are using technology and location data in order to curb the impact of the novel coronavirus and combat the pandemic. However, there are security concerns that lie ahead for privacy. For this, the company has said that an individual's location, contacts or movements has been made available for the analysis of the report.