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Google Community Mobility Report reveals response to lockdown in Nigeria

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Google on Monday said that Data from its newly-released Corona Virus (Covid-19) Community Mobility Reports showed that traffic to transit, retail and recreation locations in Nigeria  reduced in the wake of the lockdown.

Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s Senior Vice-President, Geo, said that traffic to transit locations, reduced by 34 pee cent and to retail and recreation locations by 39 per cent compared to baseline levels measured in January and February.

Fitzpatrick said that the report, which showed data from March 29, revealed how citizens were visiting transit stations, work places, retail and recreation centers, parks, grocery stores and residentials in Nigeria.

“We think these reports could support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic while adhering to the stringent privacy protocols and policies.

“Google has invested in this tool so that everyone could make use of it to quickly and easily understand relevant information to the community response to social distancing.

“It is making any information shared tailored specifically to specific purpose.

“Just like how people can use Google Maps to identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded, we’re using the same aggregated, anonymized data to provide high-level insights into what has changed.

“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.

”And we will continue to evaluate these reports as we get feedback from public health officials, civil society groups, local governments and the community at large during these unprecedented times,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

The Vice-President said that Google has been working on many ways to help respond to COVID-19, from providing authoritative info via Search, to supporting production of ventilators and personal protective equipment such as face-masks.

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She said that with no vaccine or proven treatment, social distancing is the primary way to flatten the curve.

According to her, reports show that a third of the world’s population are under some kind of social distancing measures; through these reports, Google is providing insights into whether the guidance on social distancing is working.

Fitzpatrick said in addition to the Community Mobility Reports, Google was collaborating with selected epidemiologists working on COVID-19 with updates to an existing aggregate, anonymized dataset that could be used to better understand and forecast the pandemic.

She said that Google’s first ever COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports provided national trends for 131 countries, and are available to download in PDF format on the site.

Each country report charts the percentage increase or decrease of movement across different high-level categories of places – such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

The Federal Government of Nigeria had on March 29 issued a stay home order in Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Ogun to help curb the spread of Covid 19 in the country.

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