Virus-free Indonesia more threatened by COVID-19 than Singapore, Malaysia: Survey, Asia News
Indonesians are more anxious about COVID-19 – a disease brought on by the fast-spreading Wuhan coronavirus – than their regional neighbours, according to a recent survey by global public opinion and data company YouGov.
The international study, which surveyed some 27,000 people in 23 countries and regions, measures the level of coronavirus concerns across the globe.
Conducted from Jan 31 to Feb 11, the survey found that 72 per cent of respondents in the archipelago considered COVID-19 a “major threat” to public health, despite Indonesia having no confirmed cases of the disease so far.
In terms of viewing the virus as “major threat” at home, Indonesia ranked first among Southeast Asian countries surveyed, including Thailand (71 per cent), the Philippines (70 per cent), Malaysia (62 per cent) and Singapore (58 per cent), all of which have recorded coronavirus cases.
The study also found that 84 per cent of Indonesians believe the virus poses “a major threat to public health anywhere in the world” – more than any other citizens of surveyed countries, including China, where only 69 per cent of the people think so.
The report revealed that respondents living in the Asia–Pacific region – where most of the coronavirus cases are recorded – had expressed a higher level of anxiety over the epidemic in general than any other region in the world.
In the Middle East, for instance, Saudi Arabia ranks first (66 per cent) in terms of viewing the virus as a huge threat, followed by Kuwait (60 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (56 per cent).
For instance, only 27 per cent of respondents in the United States, 23 per cent in the United Kingdom and 19 per cent in Germany think of the COVID-19 as a major threat to their home countries.
As of Tuesday, more than a month since the virus has spread globally and infected more than 70,000 people worldwide, Indonesian authorities still claim that the country has zero coronavirus infections on its soil, though at least four Indonesian nationals have been reported to have contracted the virus abroad.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi confirmed on Tuesday that three Indonesian crew members aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored off the coast of Japan had tested positive for COVID-19.