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Business News/ News / India/  Is India’s attention shifting from coronavirus?

NEW DELHI: As more and more states open up businesses and public places, interest in the novel coronavirus in India seems to be abating. According to Google Trends results, search interest in coronavirus in May was half the volume for April.

However, Indians still looked up the novel coronavirus five times more than cricket, which is usually amongst the most searched topics in the country.

Trends results though follow particular keywords and searches around that, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that people are forgetting the virus. Instead, it’s possible that various other things have piqued their interest such as vaccines, containment zones, quarantine procedures, and other such developments.

Interest for coronavirus lockdown zones in Delhi surged over 1800% in May which covers the third and fourth phase of India’s lockdown to contain the spread of covid-19 in the country. However, the top trending search term in May was “lockdown 4.0", which suggests that most people wanted to find out what the rules for this phase would be.

Interest in the fourth phase of lockdowns on May 17, a day before it came into effect. Interest in Delhi’s lockdown zones peaked on May 3, but searches didn’t just come from residents in Delhi. Google Trends shows that Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Bihar topped the list of subregions that were searching for this. Delhi actually ranked sixth.

On the international front, Indians increased searches for “Itali coronavirus vaccine", which soared 750% in May. In fact, the top trending search term on Google for May with respect to the virus was "vaccine", showing that people are actively following developments on this front. Searches around this increased 190% in May.

Interestingly, the highest search interest in the virus from India in May came from Goa, followed by Meghalaya and Chandigarh.

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Prasid Banerjee
An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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Updated: 08 Jun 2020, 02:20 PM IST
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