Over half of Filipinos believe worst of pandemic has yet to come: Poll

Elite policemen patrol a market while people shop during a government imposed enhanced quarantine as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Manila on April 21, 2020. AFP/Maria Tan. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Sep 15, 2020, PhilStar. Over half of Filipinos believe that the worst of the COVID-19 crisis has yet to come, a national poll released Tuesday found, The Philippine Star reported.

The survey, conducted by the Social Weather Stations from July 3 to July 6, found that 57% of respondents are still bracing themselves for the worst of the pandemic, marking a 10% increase from the 47% who said the same last May.

“On the other hand, those saying ‘the worst is behind us’ fell from 44% in May 2020 to 35% in July 2020, while those who did not give an answer stayed at 8%,” SWS said.

According to the national poll, the proportion of those who fear that the worst is yet to come is highest in Metro Manila at 70%, marking a sharp rise of 20 points from the previous 50% recorded in May.

In the Visayas, 61% believe the same, marking a seven-point increase from the 54% recorded two months previously.

This sentiment also grew in Balance Luzon, which saw a proportion of 43% in May grow to 56% in July, but relatively unchanged at Mindanao at 49%.

“On the other hand, those who say ‘the worst is behind us’ are highest in Mindanao (41%), followed by Balance Luzon (35%), the Visayas (33%), and Metro Manila (26%).”

“Compared to May 2020, those who say ‘the worst is behind us’ fell from 49% in Balance Luzon, from 43% in Metro Manila, and from 38% in the Visayas. It hardly moved from 42% Mindanao,” the survey added.

SWS: Fear highest among those whose quality of life worsened
Adults whose quality of life were found to be worse in July compared to the year before also made up the highest proportion of those who feared that the worst from the pandemic is still coming.

A separate survey published in August found that 79% of adults say their quality of life worsened compared to last year. Of these, 60% fear that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, SWS said.

The same fear holds true at 48% even for those whose said their quality of life improved since last year and 45% for those whose quality of life remained unchanged.

Across all respondents whose quality of life worsened, improved, and remained unchanged since last year, there was an increase in proportion of those who believed that the worst of the pandemic still awaits.

The latest SWS poll was probability-based survey conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing among 1,555 working-age Filipinos nationwide. Sampling error margins are at ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5 for Balance Luzon, ±5% for the Visayas and ±5% for Mindanao.

The Department of Health on Monday reported 4,699 new COVID-19 cases along with a record-high of 259 new deaths.

This brought the national caseload to 265,888, still the highest in Southeast Asia, and the total number of deaths to 4,630.

It has been 182 days since the Philippines was first put under lockdown, marking the highest community quarantine period in the world.

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