44% of Filipinos believe worst of COVID-19 pandemic is already over — SWS
MANILA, Philippines — Forty-four percent of Filipinos believe that the worst phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is already behind, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), the results of which was released on Tuesday.
The survey was conducted through mobile phone interviews of 4,010 working-age Filipinos from May 4 to 10, back when several areas were still under a modified enhanced community quarantine due to a high rate of coronavirus infection.
Respondents were asked about their prediction for the COVID-19 crisis, whether it would worsen or whether the situation would improve.
The survey also revealed that 47 percent of the populace think that the worst-case scenario had not yet arrived. On the other hand, the remaining 8 percent of the respondents declined to give an answer.
According to the SWS, the viewpoint that worse things may come ahead despite the already prevailing crisis is highest among residents in the Visayas at 54 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 50 percent, Mindanao at 48 percent, and the rest of Luzon at 43 percent.
Residents of the Visayas were also the least optimistic, with only 38 percent saying that the worst was over, followed by Mindanao at 42 percent, Metro Manila at 43 percent, and Balance Luzon at 49 percent.
“Since the May 2020 survey, tighter community quarantine has been re-instated in Cebu City, reverting from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and Leyte, reverting from Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) to GCQ. Both areas are in the Visayas,” the SWS said.
Metro Manila and the Visayas have the highest concentration of cases in the country, with 20,100 of the 41,830 cases recorded last July 4 located in Metro Manila, according to the Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 tracker.
Western Visayas has registered 370 cases, Eastern Visayas 463, and Central Visayas 8,637.
Cebu City, which is located in Cebu province in Central Visayas, is still under an enhanced community quarantine due to its rising number of cases.
Pessimism, or belief that the worst has not yet arrived, was also observed among respondents who believed that their quality of life had worsened.
It also manifested more in people who had higher degrees of education. At least 53 percent of those who were pessimistic were college graduates, 49 percent were junior high school graduates, 40 percent were elementary school graduates, and 37 percent are non-elementary school graduates.
“Conversely, those who said ‘the worst is behind us’ were highest among non-elementary graduates (53%), followed by elementary graduates (51%), junior high school graduates (43%), and college graduates (38%),” the SWS added.
DOH has repeatedly said that people should not mistake the relaxing of quarantine restrictions as a time to be complacent, as more strict personal health protocols should be observed given that more people are allowed outside — therefore increasing infection risks.
The SWS divided survey respondents using representative samples based on population, with 294 of the survey takers in Metro Manila, 1,645 in Balance Luzon, 792 in the Visayas, and 1,279 in Mindanao.
The survey firm maintains sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±2 for Balance Luzon, ±3% Visayas, and ±3% in Mindanao.
—With reports from Jim Mendoza (trainee)
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