SINGAPORE — On Wednesday (Jan 29), three new cases of the Wuhan virus were confirmed in Singapore by the Ministry of Health, bringing the total number of persons infected in the country to 10. As the outbreak continues, citizens are experiencing distress, with three out five Singaporeans afraid of getting infected, according to a new poll by YouGov.
Market research and data analytics firm YouGov Omnibus has released its latest survey. The global data and public opinion company polled 1,013 citizens to find out what Singaporeans really think of the Wuhan virus outbreak.
Firstly, 94 percent of respondents said that they were fully aware of the virus and of the news surrounding its spread. Three out of five participants—broken down into 68 percent of female respondents and 52 percent of male respondents—said they were afraid to contract the virus.
Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus, said that “fears of the virus are shared across age groups” and noted that “a significant amount believe that more governmental measures can be taken”.
Breaking it down even further, the survey found that 19 percent (two in 10), are “very scared”; 40 percent (two in five), are “fairly scared”, 25 percent are “not very scared” and only seven percent are “not all scared” about the risk of infection. Eight percent are undecided as to whether they are afraid or not.
Interestingly, older respondents were less fearful of the virus, while younger participants displayed more fear and anxiety over getting infected.
There have been no official cases yet of a Singaporean contracting the virus, but 47 percent of those surveyed believe that citizens have indeed been infected with the Wuhan virus.
When asked about measures the Singaporean government should take to combat the coronavirus, 58 percent think the government is doing enough, 35 percent think they should do more to fight the outbreak, and three percent think the government is doing too much.
Two out of five (43 percent) said that they think all Chinese travellers currently in Singapore (regardless of whether they flew out of or have been to Wuhan) should be placed in isolation and quarantined, while 84 percent agree with the government’s move of placing a travel restriction on persons who recently visited or are flying from Wuhan.
Regarding flights, 20 percent also believe that the government should ban flights from other countries where people have been contaminated, while five percent think all inbound international flights should be stopped.
Some five percent believe that the entire country of Singapore should be placed under quarantine, while 56 percent believe the government should, at the very least, provide free masks for the whole nation.
As a result of the outbreak, 81 percent of respondents are taking more personal measures to observe proper hygiene, like washing their hands more.
To minimise the risk of infection, a total of 73 percent are purposefully avoiding crowded spaces to minimise infection risk, around 63 percent are choosing not to eat raw meat, 48 percent will not travel outside of Singapore, 37 percent of Singaporeans are wearing a face mask in public, and five percent are avoiding going to work or school altogether.