Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, What Are People in the Middle East Asking Google About?

Published April 13th, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, What Are People in the Middle East Asking Google About?
Food recipes and news were also amongst the most searched over the last few weeks.  (Shutterstock)

An unexpected viral pandemic sweeping across the world, has been causing unprecedented chaos in every meaning of the word, including what people are looking for online.

Amid such unknown circumstances and with millions of people living under lockdown, it's only natural that people turn to the Internet to seek the information they are looking for and to purchase their daily needs.

According to an infograph prepared by Social Media Today using data provided by PageTraffic, recent global search trends included online shopping services, especially people trying to order face masks, hand sanitizers, toilet paper, sanitary wipes, and thermometers.

People also searched for medical advice regarding COVID-19 symptoms, preventive methods, and handwashing techniques. Food recipes and news were also amongst the most searched for over the last few weeks. 

Yet, people in the Middle East seem to look for very specific information. We have looked up Google's search trends in two of the biggest countries in the region, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to learn more about what people have been asking the search engine about the most.

1. Coronavirus Info

The number one search item for people in both countries over the past two weeks have been questions about COVID-19 symptoms, tests, and the number of confirmed cases in their countries. They also looked for tips that would help them avoid contracting the contagion virus. 

Additionally, users in the two countries seemed interested in learning more about three potential drugs that may have promising results in curing the novel coronavirus. Names such as Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and Avigan were frequently searched over the last two weeks.

2. Government Procedures

Most Internet users have been inquiring about curfew hours in their areas, in addition to information related to visa and passport renewals during the period of lockdowns in both countries.

Users have also been looking for information about temporary workers' support programs and compensations they can apply for, such as Sanid Program in Saudi Arabia.

3. Zoom Meetings

As more people are starting to work or study online, the online video call service Zoom has been one of the most searched programs in both countries.

Additionally, people have been looking for e-learning portals and e-library services through which they can continue their school work despite homestays.

4. Oil Prices 

One of the most stressed global conversations at the moment is plunging oil prices that have been hit hard by both the coronavirus outbreak and disagreements among OPEC+ members. 

People in both countries have been checking oil prices on a regular basis to examine how this can affect their daily lives and expenses.

5. New Devices

The spike in Internet use during long home-stays have intrigued people to learn more about the latest mobile devices and online video gaming consoles.

The new HUAWEI P40 Pro and the PS5 have been in the top searched for.

6. La Casa de Papel/Money Heist

TV shows seem to become even more popular while people are forced to spend time indoors. With the release of its 4th season, the Spanish famous show and several of its characters have been inspiring lots of questions people looked up via Google.

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