In pandemic tend Kazakhstanis trust the actions of the authorities, but they are waiting for tangible social assistance

Almost a third of citizens still do not perceive coronavirus as a serious threat

DEMOSCOPE Express Monitoring Bureau of Public Opinion conducted a survey of citizens on the topic Kazakhstani People’s Attitude To Coronavirus Pandemic. From March 14 to March 18, 2020, 1,100 people in 14 regions and cities of republican significance (Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent) were interviewed. The survey was conducted in Kazakh and Russian by phone calls to landline numbers. The survey involved 47% of men and 53% of women over 18 years old. The basis for the sampling was the subscriber base of landline telephone numbers in Kazakhstan. For this sample, the maximum size of the statistical error with a probability of 95% does not exceed 3%.

The global pandemic of the new coronavirus COVID-19 has affected almost all countries of the world, including Kazakhstan. Unprecedented preventive measures have been taken in the country, and an emergency regime has been introduced. Since March 19 Nur-Sultan and Almaty have been quarantined. In this situation, an extremely important indicator is the attitude of Kazakhstanis to the pandemic and their assessment of the actions of the authorities.

The results of an express survey by Demoscope Bureau showed that 48% of respondents consider COVID-19 to be a serious threat to human health and life, as well as to the country’s economy.

They are opposed by 27% of those polled who are convinced that the danger is exaggerated and that coronavirus is no worse than flu.

19% think that panic is provoked by some countries and multinational companies that benefit from it. Only 1% of citizens do not think about the virus and have more serious problems.

Another important indicator is Kazakhstanis’ willingness to change their usual lifestyle. It is noteworthy that majority of respondents (47% and 20%) were not affected by the pandemic at all or not much. They only bought products and essentials for the future.

Third of respondents, on the contrary, feel significant changes in their lives. For example, canceled work events and trips. They had to refuse to have vacation in other countries and visit crowded places.

Most of the respondents (56%) expressed confidence in the government believing that the situation is under control and there is no need to panic. Almost a third of respondents (38%) are anxious, but they hope that the disease will not affect them. And only 4% expect a disaster and a worse turn of events.

One of the key indicators of public opinion is the assessment of the authorities’ readiness to react on spread of COVID-19 in Kazakhstan. In this matter, the opinions of citizens were divided into approximately three equal shares.

Demoscope survey showed that 35% thought the level of preparedness was average. The state does not have all the necessary administrative and medical capabilities for timely diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Another third of respondents (33%) rate it as “high”. They believe that the healthcare system is ready to deal with the epidemic.

26% are not inclined to rely on the state. In their opinion, the authorities are not ready for the pandemic. Everyone needs to take preventative measures by themselves.

Obviously, in an emergency, the responsibility for public safety falls almost entirely on the state. In the conditions of debt overburden population, low income and cash savings, many Kazakhstanis are expected to be in a socially vulnerable group. The Demoscope bureau found out what actions the citizens expect from the authorities.

The majority of respondents (36%) are for the introduction of a temporary regime of social security for the population, especially the elderly: suspension of payment of loans, partial payment of utility bills, regulation of prices for personal protection items and medicines.

18% of respondents believe that the authorities will ensure the maximum mobilization and control of the health system.

14% consider the sanitary and medical measures taken sufficient to ensure the safety of citizens.

The survey results showed that Kazakhstanis generally support the actions of the authorities and trust in local medicine. At the same time, citizens expect a real solution to problems in the payment of loans, partial payment of utility bills, cost containment.

The Kazakh people’s perception of the coronavirus pandemic could not but be affected by the devaluation of the national currency and the economic crisis. In this situation, the population obviously expects from the state not only effective measures to prevent COVID-19, but also tangible social assistance.

A telephone survey was carried out by KT Cloud Lab LLP contact center.

Please use hyperlink if mentioning the material. The project is implemented by MediaNet International Centre for Journalism with support of Konrad Adenauer Foundation Office in Kazakhstan. The survey data reflect the views of respondents. For more information please contact Snezhana Tsoy, project manager +7 (727) 2922046.

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