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Coronavirus: Poll shows most support tough government measures

Municipal worker disinfecting a Nicosia street

By Andria Kades

Fifty seven per cent of people completely agree with the measures the government has taken so far surrounding the covid-19 outbreak, while 80 per cent have seen a spike in their social media use to stay in touch with loved ones, according to a poll published by daily Politis on Sunday.

The survey was conducted by Retail Zoom and was based on a sample of 1,753 respondents who subscribe to the Politis newsletter and follow its social media platforms.

On the downside, only 10 per cent said they believed they would receive excellent healthcare if they test positive for covid-19, while 47 per cent said it would be satisfactory, 29 per cent that it would be average and 14 per cent said the care would be outright bad.

More than half of people said they believe healthcare professionals are excellent in the way they are carrying out their duties during the pandemic, with 59 per cent in support, while 36 per cent said it is satisfactory. Five per cent said it was not satisfactory while one per cent said it was not satisfactory at all.

In terms of their job prospects, 65 per cent of respondents said their jobs or businesses were seriously threatened because of the coronavirus pandemic while 10 per cent said there was no threat at all. Of those that felt seriously threatened, 83 per cent were self-employed.

A majority – 60 per cent – believe the effects on the economy will only improve after nine months or more, 26 per cent said it would be within nine months, eight per cent said three months and six per cent said in less than three months.

As far as the lockdown is concerned, 76 per cent said they would face the situation positively while 22 per cent said they would cope but with difficulty. Stoicism was seen most strongly in the 65+ age group where 87 per cent said they would face the measures positively, followed by the 35-44 age group at 76 per cent. It was the 18-24 age group that appeared hardest hit with 31 per cent saying they would have difficulty dealing with the constrictions.

Asked about the timing of the government’s response, 57 per cent said it should have reacted sooner, 41 per cent that it reacted on time and two per cent that the measures were too soon. People aged between 18-24 overwhelmingly believe the government responded on time, at 62 per cent, while 67 per cent of people aged between 55-64 as well as 66 per cent of people 65 and older said the government should have acted sooner.

Only nine per cent of respondents said they had no sense of fear, with the rest ranging from extremely fearful to slightly fearful. Not surprisingly, among those in the most fearful category, only five per cent were aged 18-24 while 23 per cent were aged 65+.

On the controversy over whether people should take holy communion, 72 per cent completely agreed with the view should not take holy communion while 74 per cent agreed with measures restricting church attendance. The majority of agreement came from the 65+ age group with 85 per cent in support while 18-24 had the lowest percentage of agreement at 52 per cent. Nonetheless 83 per cent said their religious beliefs have not been shaken.

Most people believe the covid-19 pandemic will be contained in May or June, with 29 per cent respectively. Twenty one per cent said it would happen after July, 14 per cent said it would be contained in July while seven per cent believes it will happen as early as April.

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