Google mobility tracking shows Mexico and U.S are not taking stay at home seriously

Despite constant calls from the authorities for the population to stay at home to avoid spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus, Mexico is in the lower level in terms of reducing mobility in public spaces, according to data revealed by Google.

On average, Mexicans reduced their movements in public spaces such as shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, shops, pharmacies, parks, beaches, transportation and workplaces by 35.4%; while those who stay in their homes only increased by 11%.

At the regional level, Mexico ties with the United States in terms of average social isolation (-35.4%) and both only surpass Nicaragua (-31.2%) and Haiti (-29.2%), among those that least reduce their mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data comes from the tool “COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports” that Google made available to the public in an effort to help health authorities to make decisions in the fight against COVID-19 and compares the data generated in the last five weeks against the previous period (between January 3 and February 6).

The case of Bolivia is striking, whose mobility index has been reduced by 88% with only 132 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from March 10 to April 3. With this level of isolation, Bolivia even surpasses countries with a total quarantine declared as Italy (83.8%) and Spain (82.2%).

“The reports use aggregated anonymous data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of high-end locations, such as shops and recreation, supermarkets and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential” reads the entry signed by Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of engineering and product management for Google Geo’s product area, and Karen DeSalvo, director of health for Google Health.

They also detail that the generation of this data is done within the framework of their privacy policies and “artificial noise” is added to have quality results without being able to identify the movements of a particular user.

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