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Movement across Nigeria drops 39% in Google report tracking lockdown

Traffic to retail and recreation locations has dropped the most in Nigeria by 39 percent, followed by transit locations which reduced by 34 percent as shown in data from Google’s newly-released COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports.

The data, which is compared to baseline levels measured in January and February, mirrors several restrictive measures that have been put in place across the country, as authorities try to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The retail and recreation locations include mobility trends for places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters.

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“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,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s senior vice-president, Geo.

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

According to Fitzpatrick, 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.

The report, which shows data from March 29, reveals how citizens are visiting transit stations, work places, retail and recreation centers, parks, food stores and residential areas in Nigeria.

Google’s first ever COVID- 19 Community Mobility Reports provide 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.

Google in a statement said it 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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