Negocios Técnica

Quarantine blues: cell phone activity indicates increased mobility in 3 states

Mexicans are growing increasingly weary of stay-at-home orders that have now been in place for more than a month.

Cell phone GPS data collected by Google shows that more people were out and about in the days after the government declared the commencement of phase three of the coronavirus pandemic last Tuesday than during the Easter holiday period earlier this month.

Google said in a nationwide mobility report issued on Sunday that data collected from millions of smart phones operating with Android systems showed that the number of people at a range of places increased last week.

Numbers increased by 11% at leisure areas such as city and town squares, 8% at markets and pharmacies, 7% at parks and beaches, 5% on public transit and 2% at workplaces.

Mobility was up across almost all of the country including states with large coronavirus outbreaks.

A comparison between Thursday last week and the same day the week before shows that Mexico City, México state and Baja California – the three federal entities with the highest number of Covid-19 cases – recorded the sharpest mobility increases.

The number of people at places of leisure in the capital increased by 9%, there were 19% more customers at markets and pharmacies, park usage rose 10% and public transit ridership was up 5%.

In México state, the increase in the number of people at the same places was 14%, 10%, 10% and 5% respectively, while in Baja California it was 8%, 5%, 12% and 4%.

Data from iPhones made public last week also showed that more Mexicans were leaving their homes more often despite the risk of being exposed to Covid-19, which has now infected more than 15,000 people around the country and claimed the lives of 1,434.

Since the national social distancing initiative officially started on March 23, mobile phone data indicates that residents of Michoacán have been the least respectful of stay-at-home orders while those in Quintana Roo have been the most respectful.

However, those tendencies are not reflected in the statistics for confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Quintana Roo has the sixth highest number of cases among Mexico’s 32 federal entities with a total of 653 people having tested positive. Michoacán, where many people appear to have continued to live normal lives over the past month, ranks 18th with 213 cases.

Source: Milenio (sp)