Data published by search engine Google has revealed how COVID-19 is impacting mobility across the GCC based on a range of key indicators including parks, transit and grocery stores.
The results showed that the average reduction for the whole of the GCC during the first three months of 2020 was 34.1%.
Bahrain experienced the least mobility reduction in the region at -21.2% – followed by Kuwait at -36.3%, Oman with -37.8%, Saudi Arabia at -38.5%, and the UAE with -42.33%.
The data added that residential mobility, as well as the grocery and pharmacy segment, were least impacted across the region, with respective changes of -27% and +22.83% on average.
While, the most significant effects were recorded in the transit and retail segments, with average reductions of -60% and -53.2% respectively, due to a series of protective measures against COVID-19 put in place across the GCC.
Commenting on the results, Dr Omar Al Ubaidly, director of studies and research of Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) emphasised the importance of taking early steps against COVID-19 in ensuring the continuity of these segments.
“The question of how to balance health and economic interests during the pandemic is a very difficult one being faced by all countries at present,” said Al Ubaidly.“What is certain is that any tradeoff between the two is significantly improved by having better levels of preparation and testing. In this regard, Bahrain's early steps have allowed it to maintain more normal lifestyles for its residents while still limiting the spread of the coronavirus.”