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Google: 16 percent of Nairobians are back to work

Google’s latest weekly Covid-19 Community Mobility Report shows more Kenyans are slowly going back to their places of work, with a 16 per cent increase in Nairobi in the last week.

In a report released on Monday, Google’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Africa Dorothy Ooko said this has seen reduced movement in residential areas to 20 per cent from 25 per cent.

Recreational areas like restaurants, shopping centers and movie theatres have recorded a 5 percent reduction in human traffic.

The information gathered using user data from Google Maps and other Google services showed that the recent government directive allowing restaurants to reopen might see a significant change in the figures in the next report.

“More Kenyans are also avoiding crowded places. Recreational areas like restaurants, shopping centers and movie theatres have recorded a 5 per cent reduction in movement,” the report indicated.

There were fewer visits by Kenyans to the grocery and pharmacy spaces, a 7 per cent movement reduction.

The trend is the same in national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens that saw a 3 per cent reduction in movement.

Fewer people used public transport such as buses and trains, which witnessed a 6 percent reduction in movement.

The Community Mobility Report also provides county-level data. The rise in Nairobi residents travelling to work caused an 8 percent reduction in those in estates.

In Mombasa, there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of people within work spaces and a 2 per cent reduction in people moving within residential areas.

Kisumu recorded an increase of 14 percent in those going to their work places and a 3 per cent reduction of movement in residential spaces in the past week.

The Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports are part of Google’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic to help people and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reports use 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 termini, workplaces and residential.

No personal data for individuals, such as a person’s location, contacts or movement is listed in the new data.

Users can also turn off their location history “at any time from their Google account,” and they can also delete their personal data.

On Monday, the government warned the public against resuming normalcy and instead follow measures meant to tame Covid-19 as cases of the virus shot up.

The country’s caseload hit 490 on Monday after 25 new infections were confirmed in Mombasa and several estates in the capital Nairobi.

“I dare to say these figures will continue to rise. Things are not back to normal,” said Dr Mercy Mwangangi, a Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Health.

Read the full report here: