Awareness about covid-19 higher in tier-1 cities: Study

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Hyderabad, April 3 (IANS) Awareness about covid-19 is higher in tier-1 cities in comparison to tier-2 and tier-3 cities, found a joint survey by the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay researchers.

They studied the impact of coronavirus outbreak on daily commute during the transition phase between pre-lockdown and the lockdown period.

This study analysed travel and visit behaviour changes that occurred during the third week of covid-19 outbreak in India during the pre-lockdown period. The data related to daily commute and visit behaviour was collected through an online questionnaire survey.

In tier-1 cities, it was found that about 12 per cent of the respondents switched from public to private mode during the third week of covid-19. This modal shift was about 9 per cent in tier-2 cities and about 7 per cent in tier-3 cities.

Moreover, nearly 48 per cent of people said that they did not travel to work during the third week of March, whereas 28 per cent had the same frequency of travel to work. When enquired about cancellation of trips between the cities using major mode of transportation, around 18 per cent said they cancelled their flights whereas, 20 per cent of respondents cancelled train journeys. This indicates that the awareness about COVID-19 is higher in tier-1 cities, followed by tier-2 and tier-3 cities, say the researchers.

More than 1,900 participants participated in the study via an online survey. The researchers received a majority of their response from tier-1 cities (63.6 per cent) followed by tier-2 (20.6 per cent) and tier-3 cities (15.8 per cent).

The researchers believe that the lockdown decision taken by the government has decreased risk of exposure to the coronavirus, due to decrease in crowded settings observed in public transport such as buses, metro and trains.

“Given the uncertainties in the minds of the commuters regarding their travel behaviour due to social distancing, it is important for policymakers and local transport authorities in general to understand the change in travel pattern,” said Digvijay S. Pawar, one of the researchers.

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