New Google data reveals coronavirus impact in GCC

MANAMA — New data published by search engine Google has revealed how the Coronavirus outbreak is impacting mobility across the Gulf Cooperation Council nations.

The research shows the quarterly percentage change of each country based on a range of key indicators including parks, transit and grocery stores.

Across all metrics, the average reduction for the whole of the GCC during the first three months of 2020 was 34.1 percent. Bahrain experienced the least mobility reduction in the region at -21.2 percent — followed by Kuwait (-36.3 percent), Oman (-37.8 percent), Saudi Arabia (-38.5 percent) and the UAE (-42.33 percent).

Residential mobility, as well as the grocery and pharmacy segment, were least impacted across the region, with respective changes of -27 percent and +22.83 percent on average.

The most substantial effects were recorded in the transit and retail segments, with average reductions of -60 percent and -53.2 percent respectively, due to a series of protective measures against COVID-19 put in place across the GCC.

These have included lockdowns or curfews by Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while all nations have suspended the majority of passenger flights to combat the spread. — SG




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