Google Reveals That More People in Melbourne are Staying at Home

Google Reveals That More People in Melbourne are Staying at Home

Google has published a series of interesting reports that reveal the movements of various communities in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The report summary has found that the number of Australians staying at home is now 13 percent higher than usual. The tech giant has over a billion people using Maps in their travels and navigation, giving them unique insight into mobility reports.

Melbourne began restricting public movement in late March to stop the spread of COVID-19 and is considering more strict social distancing rules to stop people from interacting. 

In Victoria alone, Retail and recreation activity fell by a whopping 45% compared to baseline. Meanwhile transit stations have almost come to a grinding halt with 58% fewer visitors.

While this may seem a bit extreme, the figures reported here pale in comparison to New Zealand which is observing a complete lockdown to combat the virus. In fact retail and recreation activity fell by 91% and transit stations have almost no activity at 84% fewer visitors.

Google collects anonymised data from users’ devices to study various behaviours and patterns to help researchers learn more about the coronavirus.

This data should be taken with a grain of salt however and should not be used for medico purposes or as personal travel plans, Google warns. The accuracy of the data is a mixed bag and will vary from region to region, making it pointless to compare the characteristics of different locations.

Google states that the reported data is created using anonymised data sets from users who have the Location History settings turned on. This setting is turned off on most devices by default.

Australia now has over 6,600 coronavirus cases with over 70 deaths and counting. It is worth noting that about 4250 patients have made recoveries. But this tiny bit of good news is overshadowed by large scale layoffs as coronavirus forces businesses to close down. Many suburbs in Melbourne have been absolutely clobbered by the pandemic as the resulting economic shockwaves rattle businesses.

As a matter of fact, over 5520 jobs were reportedly lost in Melbourne City, which is the highest tally of job losses in the country so far. Richmond has the second highest number of job losses at 3391. Sunbury is sitting in at a relatively cozy 2486 job losses.