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June 22, 2020

55% Pakistanis believe threat of coronavirus is exaggerated: survey

Pakistan

June 22, 2020

A street vendor (R) wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, interacts with customers alongside a street in Islamabad. Photo: AFP 

ISLAMABAD: According to Coronavirus Attitude Tracker Survey, by Gallup Pakistan, 55% Pakistanis now believe that the threat of coronavirus is exaggerated.

The survey is about changes in public perception, attitude and behaviour since the beginning of the lockdown in Pakistan; public response and behaviour towards coronavirus initiatives and preventive measures; and the overall changes and impact of coronavirus lockdown on the daily lives of ordinary Pakistanis and businesses.

Nearly 55% of Pakistanis believe that the coronavirus threat is exaggerated.

The survey found that 57% respondents and those from Sindh (65%) are most likely to agree that the threat of coronavirus is exaggerated. Respondents from Pakistan are fourth most likely to believe that the COVID-19 threat is exaggerated. Those from Japan (12%) are least likely to say the same.

The survey findings show that public opinion is split over the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control; 47% agree, while 48% disagree – 33% strongly disagree.

67% Pakistanis believe the federal government has been successful in controlling the coronavirus situation in the country.

Every 1 in 5 Pakistani (22%) claims that someone from within his/her social circle has contracted the coronavirus. The survey said 22%  Pakistanis reported someone from their social circle being infected by coronavirus. In comparison, only 6% Indians reported the same.

Another finding of the survey was that 12% Pakistanis claim to know someone in their social circle who died after contracting the coronavirus. One-third Pakistanis are sceptical about the number of COVID-19 cases being reported by the government. Since April, a hefty 15% decline in the proportion of Pakistanis has been witnessed who opine that the federal government of Pakistan is controlling the coronavirus situation very well -- now 67% agree, while 28% disagree.

55% of Pakistanis believe the number of cases reported by the government are correct.

After a significant decline in early April (29%), nearly two in three Pakistanis (65%) now report a male family member visiting the mosque for Jumma prayer. Respondents from Balochistan (91%) are most likely to say that a male family member offered Friday prayers in a mosque. 42% from Sindh report otherwise.

The survey found that three-fourth Pakistanis report that a male member of their household offered Eid prayers in a mosque this year. One in four Pakistanis claim that their household spending increased this Eidul Fitr as compared to last year.

About 74% Pakistanis say that they will send their children to school if they re-open. Urban repondents (30%) and females (28%) are most likely to say they will not be sending their children to school if they re-open. The survey found that three in five (59%) Pakistanis are hopeful that life in Pakistan will return to normal by the end of the year.

About 74% of Pakistanis say that they will send their children to school if they re-open.

Public opinion split over further opening up of businesses across the country by relaxing the lockdown. 47% Pakistanis support while 48% do not support it. Highest proportion of respondents from Sindh (83%) and respondents aged below 30 support further opening up of businesses across the country due to ease in lockdown.

Public opinion is split over further opening up of businesses across Pakistan by relaxing the lockdown with 47% supporting it and 48% against it.

The survey findings show that a significant majority (88%) of Pakistanis claim that their household income has decreased since the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. Since April, 900,000 more households now claim to have reduced the number or size of meals for some family members to cover their household's basic needs. Nearly 1 in 4 Pakistanis (22%).

88% of Pakistanis say their household income has decreased since the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.

Nearly 22 million adults say they have borrowed food or asked for help from a friend or relative in the past 7 days to cover their household’s basic needs. As many as 2.1 million households now claim to have sold some assets in the past 7 days to cover their basic household needs, the survey found.