Google has published a new mobility report outlining the impact of South Africa’s lockdown and social distancing efforts on the country’s traffic.
The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas.
The graphs reflect data from the end of March and beginning of April – the first days of South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.
Google said that the baseline it used for comparison was the corresponding day of the week during the five-week period from 3 January – 6 February 2020.
Google said that it calculates these insights based on data from users who have opted-in to location history for their Google Account,
While South Africans are permitted to work from home during the lockdown period, essential services personnel will be exempted from the stay-home provisions as they are vital for continued functioning of key businesses during the lockdown.
As a result, the country has seen a sharp decline in vehicle and pedestrian traffic following the implementation of the lockdown.
On the first day, the N1 freeway between Pretoria and Johannesburg was all but empty at 09:00, when traffic is usually high, MyBroadband reported.
A handful of trucks were driving in either direction, along with a low number of passenger vehicles. Traffic police and other law enforcement vehicles were also seen driving along the freeway.