Public Transport Mobility in Mexico Falls 47 percentBy MBN Staff | Fri, 04/03/2020 - 13:42
In the middle of the crisis, Google got down to work and published an analysis of location data from billions of its users’ phones. This has become the largest public dataset available to help health authorities assess if people are abiding with self-quarantine measures and similar orders issued across the world to rein in the virus.
The company released reports for 131 countries with charts that compare traffic from February 16 to March 29 to retail and recreational venues, train and bus stations, grocery stores and workplaces with a five-week period earlier this year.
In Mexico, traffic trends for places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries and movie theaters went down 45 percent. Meanwhile, trends for places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers’ markets, specialty food shops, drug stores and pharmacies decreased 19 percent. Commutes to workplaces went down 20 percent
One of the meeting points that presented less traffic were places like public transport hubs such as subway, bus and train stations, with a drop of 47 percent. National parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens rank second with a drop in the traffic of 46 percent.
Google said it published the reports to avoid any confusion about what it was providing to authorities, given the global debate that has emerged about balancing privacy-invasive location tracking with the need to prevent further outbreaks. The data often correlated with the severity of outbreaks and the harshness and breadth of orders imposed by governments.
Italy and Spain, two of the hardest-hit countries, both saw visits to retail and recreation locations such as restaurants and movie theaters plunge 94 percent. The UK, France and Philippines reported declines of more than 80 percent.
COVID-19 has infected more than 1 million people globally and has killed 52,000. In Mexico, the Ministry of Health reported that the number of infected in the country rose to 1,510 and there are already 50 deaths.
There were no reports for China and Iran, where Google services are blocked. Data in Google’s reports come from users who enabled Google’s “Location History” feature on their devices. The company said it adopted technical measures to ensure that no individual could be identified through the new reports.