Coronavirus: India Less Worried Than Most Countries, Says Survey
60% Indians say coronavirus won’t affect them and that COVID-19 is being exaggerated: CVoter Gallup survey
The reasonably successful ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, 22 March, was undone to some extent when visuals of people dancing, to mark the battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak, went viral.
These weren’t even isolated cases as the visuals came from different parts of India, showing that the message of social distancing hadn’t been understood to the extent that was originally intended.
Now what explains this?
A survey conducted by CVoter and Gallup on 17 and 18 March may provide some answers.
‘Majority of Indians Think COVID-19 Won’t Affect Them’
As it turns out, Indians are among the “least worried” people in the world, as far as the novel coronavirus is concerned.
On being asked if they agree or disagree with the statement, “I am afraid that either myself or a member of my family may actually catch coronavirus”, 42 percent respondents in India “strongly disagreed” – that is they strongly denied any possibility that they or their family member could get affected by the virus.
This was the highest among all the 21 countries surveyed. The next highest was Pakistan, with 22 percent respondents strongly disagreeing to the same statement. The world average is 13 percent.
The countries surveyed besides India were: Germany, Italy, United States, Pakistan, United Kingdom, France, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Netherlands, Palestine, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey.
The total percentage of respondents who think that COVID-19 won’t affect them, that is combining those who “strongly disagreed” as well as those who “disagreed”, is 60 percent in India, much higher than the worldwide figure of 35 percent.
On the other hand, 39 percent in India “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that coronavirus would affect them, as opposed to the world average of 62 percent.
‘61 Percent Indians Say the Worst is Over’
The survey also reveals that Indians are much more optimistic about what lies ahead, compared to people in many other countries.
According to the survey, 61 percent respondents in India said that the worst is over. On the other hand, 18 percent respondents said that the worst is yet to come while 10 percent said that things will remain the same.
Among the 21 countries surveyed, only Kazakhstan (73 percent) and Turkey (63 percent) had a higher proportion of people than India who believe that the worst is over.
The highest proportion of respondents who said that the worst is yet to come was in the UK at 82 percent, followed by Netherlands at 77 percent and France at 70 percent.
‘Indians More Likely to Think That COVID-19 Threat is Being Exaggerated’
On being asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that, “The coronavirus threat is being exaggerated”, 42 percent respondents in India said they “strongly agree”. This was the highest among all the countries. The world average was just 21 percent.
Some 18 percent in Indians agreed with the statement that the coronavirus threat is being exaggerated, 13 percent said they disagreed and 22 percent “strongly disagreed”.
The percentage of respondents strongly disagreeing was highest in France at 57 percent.
Indians Have Highest Faith in Govt Handling of Corona
On being asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that, “I believe the government is handling the coronavirus crisis well”, 58 percent respondents in India said they strongly agreed, 26 percent said that they agreed, 5 percent disagreed and 9 percent strongly disagreed.
India was highest in terms of those who strongly agreed and behind only Austria in terms of net agreement – that is ‘strongly agree’ plus ‘agree’.
Net disagreement was highest in Thailand (76 percent), Ecuador (56 percent) and USA (46 percent), indicating that people in these countries were most dissatisfied with how their government is handling the coronavirus crisis.
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