Helping Governments Combat Covid-19 Google Releases Community Mobility Reports

CIOReviewIndia Team | Friday, 03 April 2020, 12:32 IST

Helping Governments Combat Covid-19Google Releases Community Mobility Reports

As many countries across the world are observing lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, Google releases reports about the location data of people across 131 countries to help governments and public health officials combat the novel coronavirus. These reports are probably the biggest data source available in the public platform for governments to assess the lockdown situation and social distancing measures.

“In addition to other resources public health officials might have, we hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, this information could help officials understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings. Similarly, 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 traveling, but also trends in destinations, can help officials design guidance to protect public health and essential needs of communities,” the company said.

The reports used aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across various places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, residential placesetc.

In India which is observing a 21-day lockdown from March 25, there is a decrease of 77 percent in the mobility of people. Across Italy and Spain, the two worst hit countries, the decline is more than 94 percent. In the US, that has been observing partial lockdown the decline as about 50 percent.

In Japan and Sweden, where there are harsh restrictions on people movements, the decline is only about a quarter. In South Korea, which has successfully controlled the community outbreak through large-scale testing and contact tracing, the decline is just 19 percent.

“The Community Mobility Reports were developed adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and protecting people’s privacy. No personally identifiable information, such as an individual’s location, contacts or movement, will be made available at any point,” the company said ensuring the customers’ privacy.

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