International COVID-19 tracker update: 27 March

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
March 28, 2020, 12:00 AM GMT+0

YouGov looks at attitudes and behaviour across 26 markets

Several countries in YouGov’s international COVID-19 tracker – including India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and various US states – went into lockdown in between the previous and most recent surveys there, and the impact can clearly be in the number of people avoiding crowded places or going to work in those countries.

For instance, in India the number of people reporting that they have avoided going to work has leapt from 26% to 63% while in Malaysian the figures rose sharply from 14% to 55%.

Behaviour: avoid crowds

In the UK the number of people avoiding crowded public spaces rose from 57% to 80%, putting it in line with other nations that have been locked down for longer.

Some countries have seen large shifts despite not having been told to stay indoors. In Germany, where people have been advised to practice social distancing measures but not put in lockdown, the proportion of people avoiding crowded places has risen from 46% to 70%.

Behaviour: work from home

Likewise in Indonesia, which had not implemented a lockdown by the time of the most recent survey, saw the number of people avoiding public places rise from 51% to 73%, and those avoiding work rose from 18% to 47%.

The Swedes and Finns are the least likely to have stopped mingling, with only 44% and 47% saying they are avoiding the crowds.

Fear levels continue to mount in most countries

The most significant increase in concern took place in the UK, with 61% of Britons now describing themselves as very or fairly scared of catching the disease, compared to 48% last week.

Fear levels have also risen noticeably in Australia and Germany, both of which have seen a 12 percentage point increase in the number of people who are very or fairly worried they will become infected (rising from 35% to 47% in Australia and from 37% to 49% in Germany).


The Indian, Canadian, Mexican and American populations have all also experienced double-digit increases in the number of people scared of falling victim to the virus.

In the four Nordic nations there has been no change in concern from one week to the next. Together with Mexico they form the 5 least worried countries, with just 27-42% expressing much fear.

Government measures

Support for the various possible measures governments could take continues to rise across the countries studied.

Indians and Germans in particular are also among the consistently most likely to be moving in support of government measures to combat the disease, with double digits increases in support of almost all measures.

Measures: stop flights COVID countries

In Singapore – where last week we showed attitudes were beginning to soften – there has been a large reversal when it comes to allowing flights from countries with COVID-19 cases. The number of Singaporeans wanting to ban flights from such places has risen by 18 percentage points to 56%, the first time a majority have backed the measure since we started tracking.

Photo: Getty

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