Portuguese believe a month of lockdown has reduced infection risk

in News · 25-04-2020 14:03:00 · 0 Comments

After a month of confinement, the Portuguese consider themselves to have less risk of infection with the new coronavirus and show greater confidence in the responsiveness of health services and the Government, according to the Covid-19 Barometer.

“Even among people who currently consider themselves to have an“ elevated risk ”of contracting covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, the vast majority are“ confident ”or“ very confident ”in the government's ability to respond (83.9% ) and health services (81.4%) to the pandemic ”, says Sónia Dias scientific coordinator of the Social Opinion survey, of the National School of Public Health (ENSP), released today.

The survey on the evolution of the perceptions of the Portuguese in times of pandemic, which gathered 166,886 responses, shows that “the Portuguese are adapting to factors directly related to Covid-19, but experiencing difficulties in managing their daily lives of confinement at home".

According to the study, the individual's perception of the risk of contracting covid-19 underwent “a notable change”, with a decrease of about 25% in the proportion of people who consider themselves to be at “high risk” (week a 20.6% and week four 15.5%).

He also observed a variation of over 21% in the group of people who considered having a “low risk” (week 33.4%; week four 40.3%).

For researchers, people's adaptation to a new life in confinement may be an explanation for this change.

“There was a great effort by everyone to integrate new protective behaviors into their daily routines. Nowadays, with these more routine measures and more information available about Covid-19, people may be feeling more capable and confident to manage this situation, perceiving a lower risk ”, says Sónia Dias, quoted in a statement of ENSP.

Another possible explanation may be the increase in the level of confidence in the responsiveness of the government and health services.

If at the beginning of the survey 7.5% of people were “very confident”, over the weeks this proportion has more than doubled (16.2%).

These results are also reinforced by the fact that, in the first week, about a third (30.6%) say they are “not very confident”, when currently only 14.3% say so.

The elderly are those who continue to report a higher level of confidence: 30.9% say they are “very confident” compared to 12% of young people between 16 and 25 years old.

Regarding the adequacy of measures to combat the pandemic, the proportion of respondents who consider them “little or not adequate” decreased from 25.2% to 9.8%.

When analyzing the evolution of the perception of the adequacy of the measures and the level of confidence in the Government's response capacity, by level of education, the data reveal that the most significant increase was in the groups that reported not having higher education.

There was also an increase in people who are telecommuting, with 12.5% ??considering the measures “very appropriate” in the first week, a number that rose to 27.2% in the third.

Even the people who suspended their activity reported a growing perception of the adequacy of the measures (week one 9% “very adequate”, 21.3% in week three).

The level of confidence in the response capacity of health services has almost doubled, from 9.4% to 17% of people who say they are “very confident”.

Despite the results of the study, the frequency with which people report feeling agitated, anxious, down or sad remains constant over the weeks, with about 80% reporting having already felt this way and 9% daily.

“This anxiety may be more linked to aspects of individual character and management of daily life”, resulting from confinement, than with aspects related to the disease or the response of health entities, says Sónia Dias, arguing that it is I need to get people to come up with concrete strategies to better manage work and family life.


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