A Mobility analysis report has shown that population movements have changed since mobility restrictions were introduced and lifted, as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The report released in Accra on Monday by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Vodafone Ghana, and the Flowminder Foundation is the second in the series of the mobility analysis report.
A statement issued jointly by three organisations said the GSS and the Flowminder Foundation had extended their mobility analysis using anonymised and aggregated data from Vodafone Ghana, following a first report released on April 3, 2020.
It said the organisations analysed the effects of mobility and social distancing interventions between February 17 and May 3, 2020, and highlighted the differences in population movements before, during, and after the mobility restrictions were introduced, including the lockdown in parts of the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas.
Madam Tracey Li, Data Scientist at Flowminder in the statement explained that: “Our analysis highlights a dramatic reduction in movements between districts and between regions throughout the study.”
She said they have paid particular attention to the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions but also analysed movements in other areas around the country.
“Overall, we see similar trends across the areas of the study compared to the norm: a reduction of movements when the first measures were introduced, and a significant decrease in journeys during the lockdown period,” she added.
She said now that the lockdown had been lifted, “we are starting to see an increase in movements again, but lower than what was the norm back in February.”
Professor Samuel Annim, the Government Statistician, said: “The observation that mobility after the partial lockdown was lifted remains at levels lower than mobility during the periods of the baseline and the initial restrictions, including sanctioning social distancing and adherence to public health hygienic protocols; endorses the effectiveness of the use of moral suasion as a complementary intervention in the fight against COVID-19.”
He said residents in Ghana deserve commendation for not reverting to the ways of living before the imposition of the initial restrictions and urged them to continue with the change in behaviour to contain the epidemic.
Madam Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana said: “It is gratifying to know that our aggregated and anonymised data has produced insights which evaluate the effectiveness of the measures being implemented in this crucial fight and will ultimately support government’s response against the pandemic.”
She said the second report highlighted how mobility insights could support policy-making as it provides the Government with an accurate picture of how people moved between districts and regions.
The report presents changes in travel within and between regions as well as changes in dispersion.