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28% travel as usual amid coronavirus outbreak, says IIT study

IIT Bombya, IIT Hyderabad, coronavirus, coronavirus update, pollution level coronavirus, COVID-19, education news

Scene of a road at Ultadanga, Kolkata during Janata Curfew in India. (Express Photo by Partha)

About 28 per cent of people claimed to have made no change to their frequency of travel to work in the lockdown period, as per a survey done by researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad and IIT-Bombay. A press release shared by IIT-Hyderabad about the research on the impact of coronavirus on commute, nearly 48 per cent respondents said that they did not travel to work during the third week of March.

In tier-I cities, it was found that about 12 per cent of the respondents switched from public to private mode during the third week of March. The shift was about nine per cent in tier-2 cities and about seven per cent in tier-3 cities, as per the study.

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"When enquired about cancellation of trips between 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-I cities, followed by tier-II and tier-III cities," stated the survey.

The research team comprised Dr Digvijay S Pawar and Dr Pritha Chatterjee, Assistant Professors, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Hyderabad and Prof Nagendra Velaga, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay, and Ankit Kumar Yadav, research student, IIT Bombay. The researchers recommended spreading more awareness about the ill-effects and spread of COVID-19, especially among the weaker sections of society.

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This study, with over 1,900 participants, analysed travel and visit behaviour changes that occurred during the third week of the COVID-19 outbreak in India during the pre-lockdown period.