Google data shows more Kenyans are now going to work and visiting parks

More Kenyans are out in public spaces since lockdown restrictions have been eased, Google’s latest COVID-19 Community Mobility Report reveals.

In a statement released on Friday, the report charts movement trends across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas.

An analysis for the period between July 31 to 14 August, shows that more people are going to work, visiting parks, and using public transport.

Places of retail and recreation, supermarkets and pharmacies, have also recorded an increase in movement during the reviewed period. However, residential places have recorded reduced movements over the past two weeks.

According to Google, employees and businesses are resuming operations according to the Google Mobility data.

traffic KenyaTrends for movement to places of work increased during the reviewed period and 26 per cent more Kenyans are going to their workplaces.

Mombasa County is leading with an increase of 40 per cent, followed by Nairobi County at 30 per cent, then Kisumu County with a 26 per cent increase,” Google stated.

Google further added that the increase in Mombasa could be attributed to the coastal county receiving more visitors from other parts of the country to engage in tourism since the county is a weekend and holiday destination for most Kenyans, hence leading more hotels to open their doors.

Local tourism has also registered some improvement, resulting in a change in movement trends in parks and places of retail and recreation.

The reports show that there was an 18 per cent increase in movement in parks. There has been a 25 per cent increase in movement trends in Nairobi.

In Kisumu, there was a 18 per cent increase while in Mombasa, the increase was 5 per cent.

Narok County has recorded an increase of 15 per cent as tourists flock Maasai Mara to witness the wildebeest migration.

Retail and other recreation places also recorded an increase of 8 per cent in movement with Nairobi registering an increase of 9 per cent.

Mombasa and Kisumu cities each recorded an increase of 11 per cent. This could be an indication that a majority of people are now leaving their homes to engage in recreation activities.

The Google Mobility trends for public transport hubs shows that traffic to bus and train stations have increased by 9 per cent.

Out of the three cities, Mombasa has the highest increase of 17 per cent, followed by Nairobi with an increase of 12 per cent, then Kisumu with an 8 per cent increase.

This shows that more people are now using public transport.

Parks KenyaThere was a 6 per cent increase in mobility trends for places such as supermarkets, food warehouses, farmers markets, speciality food shops, and pharmacies.

Mombasa and Kisumu counties led with 18 per cent and 5 per cent increase respectively, followed by Nairobi county with a 2 per cent increase.

As more Kenyans spend time outside, they are also increasingly doing their daily shopping.

There has been a 9 per cent reduction in movement in residential places, indicating that more people are no longer staying at home but attending to their daily activities of work and social engagements out in public.

Nairobi recorded a reduction of 9 per cent, while Mombasa and Kisumu recorded a reduction of 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively of Kenyans at home during this period.

The COVID-19 Community Mobility Report is part of Google’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic, intended to help people and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance.

The report uses aggregated, anonymised data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, public transport terminals, workplaces, and residential areas.

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