Data from the world’s largest search engine shows a decline in interest on travel as Sunday’s ‘Janta Curfew’ drew near. Google Trends data shows the popularity of various terms that its users seek on its platform. People sought ‘travel advice’ aplenty even as late as 17th March. It then shows a declining trend with Sunday’s searches at around only a fifth of where they were at peak (see chart 1).
Worries over the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease seems to have picked up closer to the weekend. Saturday morning saw searches for hand sanitiser, face mask and hand washing peaking. Searches on hand washing was lower relative to the other two terms (see chart 2).
Google data also allows one to see searches about the virus relative to other searches on the platform. Goa topped the list of states which had the highest proportion of searches on the virus relative to other searches from the state. This does not mean that it searched for more information than other states. It could also be because of the relatively smaller volume of searches from the state on other topics. Others with a similar trend include Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman and Diu, Nagaland and Meghalaya.