ISLAMABAD ( SPECIAL REPORT )
As you know, we, at Ipsos in Pakistan have been closely monitoring COVID 19 awareness and implications since early Feb. Last month, we released this ever first social media analytics report in Pakistan to media and our clients.
COVID-19 has presented us with an unprecedented global crisis that continues to evolve daily, even hourly. The full impact of the virus on the world is not yet known, but it is certain the magnitude of change will also be unprecedented. Understanding how citizens’ perceptions, knowledge and behaviours are evolving is crucial to manage them effectively and designing appropriate response.
Here are some key findings from the fresh wave of Ipsos Tracker & snap poll, we conducted in 1st week of April, from 1000+ adult Pakistanis representing all urban and rural areas of Pakistan:
- 88% Pakistanis are aware of what COVID-19 is, , showing an 19% increase since February
- People have increased precautionary measures to minimize risk of infection. From 47% in February; the percentage of Pakistanis who wash hands and coming home has increased to 89%, However still a one-third have NOT stopped shaking hands/physical contact with others.
- Near universal (88%) knowledge of Pakistanis on this pandemic, could primarily be attributed to local media and some private sector companies like Jazz, Unilever and others. Meager 5% recalled any Govt. message
- The perception of corona virus being a threat to Pakistan has increased significantly within 6-7 weeks, from only 36% to 83%. However, same threat to peoples’ own lives, families, and community, remains as low as about 50%. This projection gap from ‘Self’ to ‘Nation’ needs to be addressed.
- Only 2 in 5 (38%) Pakistanis can correctly recall the official helpline for COVID-19, rest are either unaware or cannot recall correctly.
- 3 in 5 (61%) Pakistanis are unaware of any welfare organization doing relief work for COVID-19 affected families. Among those who know, Edhi Foundation (20%) and Alkhidmat Foundation (14%) are the most known.
- Despite ample media coverage, 2 in 5 Pakistanis are still unaware of the tiger force being set up by PM
- 43% Pakistanis think utilizing local governments would have been a better idea instead of making a new Tiger force
- Majority of Pakistanis (56%) believe that Mosques (& other religious places) should be made centers of relief distribution during COVID-19 crisis. This view is held even more strongly in KPK, Baluchistan and AJK/GB.
- Majority of Pakistanis have religious and scientific misconceptions related to COVID-19, such as “They can remain protected from the virus if they make wudu 5 times a day (82%), Taking steam regularly will help them stay safe (67%), Allah has control over viruses, so congregation prayer cannot become a source of infection (67%) etc.”
- Unfortunately, 2 in 5 Pakistanis associate COVID-19 with certain sects (43%)/communities (30%) and have developed conspiracy theories (43%) with the outbreak
- People belonging to KPK are more prone to agreeing with religious misconceptions. YouTube also seems to have played a role in disseminating religious misconceptions