Even after allowing grocery and other essential shops to remain operating amid lockdown, people have reduced their travel to these places as a measure of social distancing amid Covid-19 pandemic. According to a Google mobility report for India, travel frequency to places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, speciality food shops, drug stores, and pharmacies dropped by 65% from March 8 to March 29.
This shows that people are relying more on online platforms to get their groceries and medicines. In the initial days of the lockdown, grocery delivery platforms like Grofers and BigBasket have reported a spike in the number of orders received by them, which is corroborated by searches and trips using Google Maps.
Google said that the mobility report shows how the number and duration of visits to different places change compared to a baseline. “We calculate these changes using the same kind of aggregated and anonymised data used to show popular times for places in Google Maps,” the company added in a statement.
Work From Home Done Right
In the wake of the lockdown and even before that, many companies in India have asked their employees to work from home. As a result, the commute to places of work dropped significantly. The report cited that travel to places of work reduced by 47% during the set timeframe.
At the same time, commute to a place of residence increased by 22%, according to the report which was prepared by the tech giant to help citizens and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance related to Covid-19.
Social Distancing Done Right
Most people are avoiding public places or venturing out in these times to adhere to the concept of social distancing. During the same time frame, Indians have limited their travel to places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theatres by 77%.
Also, travel to public places like national parks, public beaches, parks, plazas, and gardens dropped by 57%, thanks to the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 in India.
Moreover, people are also avoiding public transport as has been advised under safety precautions. The report states that travel by public transport such as metro, bus, and train stations dropped by almost 71%.
In the mobility report, Google highlighted that location accuracy and the understanding of categorised places varies from region to region. In accordance with these factors, Google has said that this data can’t be used to compare mobility trends between rural areas and urban.