Almost a year into the pandemic, SWS survey shows more Pinoys afraid of contracting COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — A latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that at least 91 percent of Filipinos are worried over the possibilities that their immediate relatives would contract COVID-19 — record-high numbers almost a year into the global pandemic that has infected millions.
According to the SWS survey released on Thursday, which was taken from face-to-face interviews last November 21 to 25, 91 percent are composed of 77 percent who are “worried a great deal” while 14 percent are “somewhat worried.”
The remaining three percent are worried a little while another five percent are not worried at all.
These results are way higher than the previous similar surveys conducted by the same survey firm last May and September, where 87 percent and 85 percent of Filipinos were worried about the disease, respectively.
“The November 2020 percentage of those worried about catching COVID-19 surpassed the previous record of 87% (73% worried a great deal, 14% somewhat worried) in May 2020, when SWS first surveyed about it,” SWS said.
“It is 6 points up from the 85% (63% worried a great deal, 22% somewhat worried) in September 2020,” it added.
The heightened worry was found among all locales and in both sexes, as it increased in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and among men and women.
Worry about this coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, is highest in Visayas (96 percent), followed by Mindanao (95 percent), Balance Luzon (89 percent), and Metro Manila (85 percent).
The previous worry-rate for the Visayas was at 84 percent, 80 percent for Mindanao, 87 percent for Balance Luzon, and 83 percent in Metro Manila.
Ironically though, Metro Manila has been the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, with the majority of cases still concentrated in the National Capital Region and adjacent provinces.
The November survey also found out that respondents with lower educational attainment also recorded the highest increased worry about catching COVID-19, as worry-rates for elementary graduates jumped from 77 percent to 91 percent.
It also rose among junior high school graduates, from 78 percent to 91 percent; 78 percent to 91 percent among high school graduates; and 83 percent to 95 percent among college graduates.
SWS said that the survey results were obtained using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults, divided according to population projects — 600 from Balance Luzon, and 300 each from Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
SWS maintains sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% for Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
The record-high figures came as the world rushes to vaccinate the population to avoid further infections. In the Philippines, several questions still linger over vaccines’ procurement despite both the national government and local government vowing to procure the doses.
Vaccination has also been rocked by controversies after it was revealed that Presidential Security Group personnel were already inoculated with the vaccine as early as September — with administration critics saying it is a breach of the hierarchy set by the government itself.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has 482,053 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 23,675 cases are considered active. [ac]
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