Pic21-084 KARACHI: Mar21-A view of closed shops at Saddar area as Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah appealed to the public to voluntarily isolate themselves for the next three days in order to keep themselves safe from corona virus, in provincial capital. ONLINE PHOTO by Syed Asif Ali

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused nations all over the world to drastically change their policies to prevent the virus from spreading. For that reason, Google has released a Community Mobility Report to show exactly how the social distancing and isolation practices have affected movement trends.

These reports use aggregated location data to show how the total activity in places such as transit stations, workplaces, residences, and retail and recreation has changed as a result of the outbreak.

Pakistan, for example, has seen a 70% decrease in activity for retail and recreation spots. This includes restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, cinemas, libraries, and more. There is now 55% less activity in grocery markets, drug stores, and pharmacies and 45% less movement in parks.

People are now staying at their residencies 18% more than before and are staying clear of public transport by 62%.

Google’s report doesn’t show the exact number of visits at these locations and this is because the collected data doesn’t include personally identifiable information on users. It is a collection of aggregated, anonymized data from users who have their location data visible, similar to how Google Maps works.

With this data, Google hopes to help authorities and public health officials manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The search engine giant is also collaborating with epidemiologists to better understand the outbreak and forecast it more accurately.

You can view Google’s Community Mobility Report for every country by following this link.