Technology app Waze continues to help Filipino motorists navigate the streets of Metro Manila during the quarantine period by providing data on testing centers, food distribution sites, restaurant drive-throughs, curbside pickup points, closed streets and areas under total lockdown.
Waze provides a “Luzon Quarantine” notification every 24 hours to remind users about the ongoing community quarantine.
"We have added Covid-19 reference laboratories in Metro Manila, Baguio, Cebu and Davao to the map.
Aside from that, we have rolled out support for drive-throughs and curbside pickup to help provide our users with minimal contact access to our partners products, such as food and other essentials, while remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines with new location personalities badges and search features," it says.
Waze reported a drastic drop in vehicular traffic since Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon was placed under the enhanced community quarantine on March 15.
"Based on the data that we have, Waze users in the Philippines are driving 87 percent fewer kilometers since the country’s lockdown measure was put in place. The drop in traffic varies by country as it is largely dependent on the lockdown measures themself and how they are being implemented," it says.
The drop was more notable than in other Southeast Asian countries. Waze users in Indonesia were driving 72 percent fewer kilometers since the country’s large-scale social restrictions were implemented, and in Malaysia, Waze users were driving 76 percent fewer kilometers since the country’s movement control order was put in place.
"We are also seeing a similar trend across the various metro areas in the Philippines, with fewer drivers on the road. In Manila for example, Waze users are driving 87 percent fewer kilometers since the country’s lockdown measure was put in place," the navigation app says in a report.
According to Waze, the number of driven kilometers has fallen since March 8, reaching its lowest point in the week of March 15 when President Rodrigo Duterte announced the lockdown.
"In that week, our data show that Waze users were driving 65 percent fewer kilometers compared to the previous week," it says.
Traffic slightly improved in April. "We have also noticed that since the week of April 5, the number of driven kilometers started to increase gradually. One of the probable reasons is that people are going out to replenish their goods or purchase essential items and that they work in the various essential industries such as the healthcare industry," it says.
Waze says that in response to the coronavirus outbreak around the globe, it has activated its community and network of partners across volunteer communities, Waze for Cities programs to support crisis response and help people navigate safely from the pandemic.
Waze says its crisis response team and map editors are supporting over 70 countries with region-specific relief efforts including road closures, red zones and more.
Waze says it also launched a Covid-19 landing page asking governments around the world to contribute data on medical testing center and emergency food distribution center locations to help improve our maps for users.
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