Due to the Coronavirus number of confirmed cases and deaths rise in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it’s perhaps unsurprising that people in these two countries are getting more nervous about the outbreak.
New data from YouGov’s COVID-19 tracker (11th- 24th March) reveals that the level of fear has increased among people and seven in ten (69%) now say they are very or fairly afraid they will contract the disease, up from 62% last week. Fear in little more among KSA residents - 71% in contrast to people in the UAE (66%).
In both the countries, those married with children looks more afraid than the singles (71% vs 65%). Likewise, the working residents seem to be more worried than the non-working people (72% vs 62%).
The number of people in both the countries who say they are not very afraid, or not scared at all, is little bit lower, at 25% - down from 30% previous week.
Among the various nationality groups dwelling within the two countries, the level of fear has increased over the previous week among both locals and expats. In the UAE, fear levels have intensified among Emirati and Arab expats, and compared to previous week a higher number claim to be very or fairly scared of getting infected (79% and 76%, respectively). Fear among Asian and Westerners is comparatively lower- at 67% and 62%, respectively.
In KSA, eventhough fear levels have gone up for both, the expats remain being more scared than the locals (77% vs 69%).
Awareness about Coronavirus is the same at 95%. However, it is little bit higher among people aged 45+ (at 97%) in contrast to their younger counterparts.
The level of information about dealing with the condition has also reaised considerably, with 76% saying they are well informed about what to do if they suspect they have the Coronavirus as compared to 70% stated this, a week ago. Once again we see UAE residents being more well-informed than KSA residents in this regard (80% vs 72%).
Likewise, working adults seem to be better informed than the non-working residents (81% vs 66%).
The young adults in UAE and KSA still seem to be combating with enough amount of information about Coronavirus. Although the number of 18-24 year olds saying they do not have adequate information about dealing with the virus has lowered since previous week, 15% still lack information.
The increased level of fear among people explains why they are taking more safety measures to safeguard themselves from the virus. For almost all the listed measures, the number of people taking these actions has gone up since previous week.
Improving personal hygiene remains the top measure taken by people in order to protect themselves from the virus (as said by 77%). As much as those who are retaining personal hygiene are also staying away from crowded public places in order to be safe.
Refrainment from touching objects in public places, avoidance of physical contact with tourists and wearing of mask in public are some of the other top measures, which a remarkably higher number of residents in both the countries are observing this week as compared to the week gone by.
It is interesting to note that 45+ years people in both the countries were much more likely to observe almost all the safety measures as compared to people from the other age groups.
Sensing the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak, more people have stockpiled necessary items such as food, medicines, etc. The number of people saying this now has increased considerably- from 25% to 36% this week.
Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 2004 respondents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia between 18th and 25th March 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in each country.