Even as the coronavirus cases and deaths in India continue to rise, Indians seem to be slowly distancing themselves from the topic. At least, as far as Google search goes. According to Google Search Trends, search interest for coronavirus in May was half the monthly volume for April. It was, however, still five times more searched than cricket, which usually sees high volumes. But given that there has been no live cricket action since March, it is not surprising to see cricket searches drop.
Coronavirus dropped to the 12th most searched topic overall during the month, behind topics such as film, meaning, news, and weather – all consistently highly searched topics in India. The most searched film in May was the Hindi crime web series Paatal Lok, followed by Tamil-drama Ponmagal Vandhal; both of which are streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
The top-most trending question for coronavirus during the month was, “Which disease is related to coronavirus?”, followed by “Where in China coronavirus was first identified?”, and “Can asymptomatic people spread coronavirus?”
So what did Indians search for the most in May, as they remained confined to their homes, amid a strict lockdown?
The top trending search term overall for May was “Lockdown 4.0”, which spiked over 3,150 percent. On May 18, India entered its fourth phase of a countrywide lockdown. In a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first called for a strict nationwide lockdown from March 25, marking the first phase. Monday (June 8) marks the beginning of Unlock 1, the first phase of easing of restrictions.
The second top trending term overall during the month was “Eid Mubarak”, which spiked over 2,650 percent. Eid ul-Fitr was celebrated in India on May 25.
The top trending related topic on Google for coronavirus was “vaccine”, which reached a new record high during the month, with an increase of over 190 percent. The most searched question for “vaccine” was “What is a vaccine?” followed by, “Is corona vaccine ready?” and “How much time for the corona vaccine?”
Interestingly, the worst-affected states of Maharashtra and Delhi did not feature in the top 10 states in terms of search interest for coronavirus during the month. The state with the highest search interest for coronavirus was Goa, followed by Meghalaya and Chandigarh. Although Delhi did not feature in the top 10, search interest relating to coronavirus for “coronavirus lockdown zones Delhi” spiked over 1,800 percent during the month.
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