Pulse Asia: 94% of Filipino adults 'concerned' about getting COVID-19

As the Philippines struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, "nearly all Filipino adults" are concerned about contracting the deadly coronavirus disease, a survey from Pulse Asia showed.

In its findings shared to media on Thursday, January 7, Pulse Asia said that the 94% of the Filipino adults it surveyed worried getting COVID-19.

"Essentially, the same figures are recorded across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes – 92% to 99% and 91% to 95%, respectively," it said.

According to Pulse Asia, "in particular, vast majorities at the national level (74%) and in the different areas and classes (71% to 86% and 73% to 79%, respectively) are very much worried that they or any member of their household will contract COVID-19."

Table from Pulse Asia report

The survey was conducted from November 23 to December 2 to a 2,400 respondents aged 18 years and above through face-to-face interviews.

Safety precautions

Despite their fear of contracting COVID-19, only 32% of the them said that they would stay at home when it is not necessary to go out. Meanwhile, a big majority said that they clean their hands on a regular basis (71%) and said they use face masks (66%)

The survey also showed that 30% of the respondents said that they observe physical distancing, 20% use face shields, and 20% avoid crowded places.

Table from Pulse Asia

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted when the government announced the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ) in virus epicenter Metro Manila and some areas in the country until December 31 due to continuing increase in COVID-19 cases.

It also happened at time when the Philippine government said that it aims to vaccinate around 60 million to 70 million of its citizens in 3 to 5 years.

Meanwhile, a separate survey conducted by the Octa Research Group said that a "large majority" of the residents of virus epicenter Metro Manila follow government-mandated health protocols against COVID-19.

Why this matters

With the detection of the new COVID-19 variant – believed to be more contagious than the original variant – an expert has warned that the it might increase the cases in the Philippines by 15-fold should it enter the country.

After Hong Kong health officials on Tuesday said they detected the presence of the UK variant of COVID-19 in a 30-year-old Filipina domestic worker, who had traveled Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) maintained that the country has not detected the fast spreading variant of the disease yet.

But Philippine health officials urged the public to follow the minimum health standards to prevent the spread of the disease.

The detection of the new variant has pushed countries, including the Philippines, to tighten borders anew as a precautionary measure. (READ: LIST: Countries facing Philippine travel ban due to new COVID-19 variant)

The pandemic has so far infected over 86 million people globally. In the Philippines, a total of 480,737 have been infected with the deadly virus as of Wednesday. Of the total, 9,347 have died, while 448,700 have recovered. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.