Product update posted on May 22, 2020
How the response to COVID-19 influenced the number of lock openings globally
COVID-19 has challenged governments around the globe to act in the best possible way during a pandemic. Each country manages its protocol in a different way. Needless to say, this has an influence on the number of COVID-19 patients. Since SALTO KS is a cloud-based access control solution, able to provide insights with help of real-time data, we have tried to analyse the people’s behaviour during the outbreak with the help of the number of lock openings. We focus on questions such as: ‘are the rules of the national lockdown being obeyed?’ and ‘is there a correlation between an increase in COVID-19 patients and the number of lock openings?’.
The graphs below show lock openings from the beginning of week 9 (24th of February) when all countries were still operating at 100% even though the Chinese authorities, where the outbreak started, defined the virus already in early January.
Among the countries that are at the top of decreased lock openings are Spain (8%), Italy (11%) and France (6%). While these countries faced a steep drop of lock openings, other countries stayed moderately equal, such as The Netherlands (47%) and Sweden (66%).
Below you can read our observations of the more extreme cases.
It started with a tourist from Germany that was hospitalized with the Coronavirus when she visited the Canary Islands. At the beginning of February, she was released and declared healthy. Despite the high hopes that she would be the first and last victim, a second case soon followed. At the beginning of March, the Coronavirus made her first (male) victim in Valencia, Spain. This victim was the first of the now over 14,000 deaths. As the second country with the highest ranks in the world (besides the USA), it makes sense the lock openings dropped quickly from a high 87% at the beginning of March to 24% around the 16th of March when the first death was declared.
Until the end of February, the people of Italy were instructed not to change their behaviour. We can see the lock openings significantly dropped (from 100% to 48%) around the 9th of March (week 11) when the country withdrew their initial instructions and went into full lockdown. Sadly, Italy now has exceeded China as the country with one of the highest death toll (besides the UK and America). With an exhausted healthcare system and the lock openings not dropping to 0% but staying at a quite high 16%, we assume this is due to the many healthcare institutions that remain open during the lockdown.
A country that dropped heavily in lock openings in the short time span of a week was France. At a very late stage, President Macron announced on television that France was battling COVID-19 and asked the people for physical social distancing. The French disregarded the message enjoying the sun on the streets with little sign of social distancing. The high death rate that followed shocked the French citizens and lock openings dropped from a staggering 100% around the 9th of March to 14% on the 16th of March.
Mid March the number of lock openings have decreased from a sky-high 94% to 59%. This is correlated with Trump’s words on the 13th of March when he officially declared the virus to be a national emergency, eight weeks after the U.S. confirmed its first case of Coronavirus.
China started the lockdown in December and is now going back to the new ‘normal’. This has everything to do with the quick and thorough response of the country. In contrast to other countries, it seems China was able to stop the outbreak fast. This strategy also came along with the decision to close the borders, so Chinese citizens got stuck abroad. With a steep drop of openings at the beginning of the year, the lock openings are slowly getting back to normal as one of the first countries around the world. However, the total lock openings have not reached 50%.
Since the Netherlands enforced a ‘smart lockdown’ the lock openings stayed relatively high. About 50% of lock openings were decreased even at COVID-19’s ‘worst’. By having the population exposed to the virus in a controlled pace the Dutch citizens developed a basic level of immunity. While schools, universities, bars and restaurants were forced to close, citizens were only advised to work from home. Additionally, the country did not impose national travel restrictions; this explains the still relatively high number of lock openings.
With 97% of lock openings at the lowest point, Sweden is in dramatic contrast with the other countries. This remarkable percentage has to do with Sweden not forcing any type of protocol regarding the outbreak, except the message that the government trusts their citizens to proceed with common decency: washing hands, staying home and keeping the physical, social distance. This approach did not work out well for all citizens. The vulnerable group of older people got struck. The vast majority of Coronavirus deaths are over 70 years old. The number of deaths and confirmed cases is much higher than Sweden’s Nordic neighbours that applied a more strict protocol handling the outbreak.
A few countries maintained a high level of lock openings, which can be linked to the various protocols the respective countries maintained during the outbreak. Countries that have maintained a high level of lock openings are known for their herd-immunity strategy to keep large parts of society open.
Above findings are solemnly to inform and are based on the regular operations at SALTO KS. All anonymous data is collected from our SALTO locks- and systems and will remain anonymous and will neither be shared nor sold.
Find out the policies SALTO Systems is wielding in the light of COVID-19 here.
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