Gallup Pakistan claims 48 percent of respondents do not believe the government has brought the pandemic under control
The results of a survey released by Gallup Pakistan on Monday claimed that the number of people satisfied with the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic had declined from 81 percent at the end of April to 67 percent in mid-June—a drop of 14 percent.
The Coronavirus Attitude Tracker Survey has thus far measured six “waves” of the virus, beginning in March. It measures changes in public perception, attitude and behavior since the beginning of the lockdown in Pakistan, as well as the public response and behavior toward coronavirus initiatives and preventive measures. It also polls the overall changes and impact of coronavirus lockdown on the daily lives of ordinary Pakistanis and the extent of disruption.
According to the wave 6 (June 4-13) results issued on Monday, 14 percent less Pakistanis believe the federal government is effectively controlling the coronavirus situation—67 percent, from 81 percent in wave 4 (April 14-24)—with 28 percent saying they do not agree that the government has the matter in hand.
Similarly, the survey has found that 55 percent of Pakistanis believe the threat posed by COVID-19 has been exaggerated, with respondents from Sindh (65 percent) most likely to believe this. This is an improvement over wave 5 (May 1-20), in which 63 percent believed the threat was exaggerated. It comes despite 22 percent of respondents admitting that at least one person from within their social circle had tested positive for COVID-19, while 12 percent said they knew someone who had died of the disease.
According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents agreed that the coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control, while 48 percent disagreed—33 percent of them “strongly disagreeing.”
Similarly, a third of Pakistanis are skeptical about the number of COVID-19 cases being reported by the government, with 55 percent believing the government’s statistics are correct.
There was a roughly even split over whether or not the government should further ease lockdown restrictions amidst the pandemic, with 47 percent supporting ease in lockdown, and 48 percent opposing it; the highest proportion of respondents supporting ease in lockdowns was from Sindh, 83 percent.
Despite nearly 50 percent of Pakistanis opposing further ease in lockdowns, 74 percent of respondents said they would be willing to send their children to school if the government reopens educational institutions. Urban respondents were least likely to support this, with 30 percent saying they would not send their children to school.
Worryingly, the survey found that 88 percent of Pakistanis claimed their household income had decreased since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in Pakistan in March. However, it found that three in five, 59 percent, of Pakistanis were hopeful that life would return to normal by the end of the year.
According to Gallup Pakistan, wave six of its Coronavirus Attitude Tracker Survey was conducted by telephone and spanned a representative sample of 1,050 men and women in urban and rural areas of all four provinces of Pakistan. Conducted between June 4 and June 13, the survey is estimated to have an error margin of approximately ± 3 percent.