According to analysis of data from Google, a large number of people in Brazil, Japan and Singapore in April stayed home amid the rising number of cases being reported from these countries while residents in the United States and Australia violated lockdown orders and flocked to parks and jobs with the flattening of infection rates of Covid-19, the disease cause by the novel coornavirus pandemic.
An increase in the general trend in disobedience with lockdown orders in place since March was noted but people complied more with such orders that were issued last month, indicated the latest weekly update of aggregated travel patterns Google collected from its users’ phones.
The data was posted online by Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, which compared daily traffic to retail and recreational venues, parks, train and bus stations, grocery stores and workplaces for a period of give weeks between from January 3 to February 6.
Imposing of rigorous contact tracing and surveillance had helped Singapore to have been successful in apparently controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, but the nation-state was forced to go into lockdown on April 7 following an outbreak of the disease among migrant worker in dormitories. In the first week of April, there was an approximately 25 per cent drop in the visits by people in Singapore to retail stores and parks. And by the final weekend of April, those had dropped to 70 per cent. Starting off with a 20 per cent drop in workplace visits in Singapore, the number increased to a 70 per cent drop by the last week of the month.
Te tendency of lockdown compliance was mixed in Brazil where tony neighborhoods were Covid-19 cases first started in tony neighborhoods and later spread to low-income favelas. Till April, there was a declines in visits to bars, cinemas and similar venues in the country but workplace visits crept back up.
Even though some lockdown measures were imposed in Brazil, such measures were repeatedly described as extreme by the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro.
Japanese people were asked to stay back at home as a state of emergency was declared by in the country on April 7. After the declaration, there was about a 50 per cent drop in people visiting sites in Tokyo as measured by Google and the number stayed at that level through last weekend. Since hitting a peak of 201 on April 17, there has been a drop in the reporting of new confirmed cases of infection, Tokyo’s daily reported.
Warnings against returning to normal life too soon have been issued by US authorities, even as data form Google showed that the number of people travelling to work was slowly increasing. By last Friday, the number was down just 48 per cent from the baseline after it was down by about 56 per cent on April 10. In terms of resumption of more typical patterns, Southern and Midwestern states were leading the way.
In Mid-April, the number of visits to transit, workplaces and entertainment venues in Australia dropped by 80 per cent but increased back in middle of April with the slowing of new confirmed cases.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)