International COVID-19 tracker update: 15 June

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
June 15, 2020, 4:37 AM GMT+0

Latest round-up of YouGov’s coronavirus survey results

Britain and Mexico: a tale of two unpopular governments

The Vietnamese government’s handling of COVID-19 continues to be the most respected nationally, with an enormous 97% of citizens there giving the seal of approval to the state’s actions. They are followed by Malaysia on 94% and Taiwan on 89%.

At the other end of the tables, Britain’s government is only saved from the bottom spot by virtue of Mexico’s government becoming more unpopular more rapidly. The Mexican government’s handling of the outbreak garnered a score of -15 in our previous survey – it now stands at -22. In Britain, by contrast, that figure has ‘only’ fallen from -15 to -17.

It is worth noting the difference between Mexican and British attitudes. British disdain for the government’s management of the crisis seems to be focussed very specifically on the political leadership, whereas Mexican concern is much broader.

For instance, while only 39% of Britons believe the government has done a good job steering the country through the pandemic, 83% they have “a lot” or “a fair amount” of confidence in the health authorities. In Mexico, by contrast, only 43% are so confident in the nation’s healthcare infrastructure, a figure much closer to the 36% who think the government are handling coronavirus well.

Likewise, two thirds of Britons think that the coronavirus situation is getting better nationally, compared to just 24% in Mexico. It is worth noting, however, that the two thirds figure in Britain who think the coronavirus situation is getting better is down from 76% the week before. No similar change was recorded in the number of Britons who think the global situation is improving (55%, from 53% the week before).

Mexicans have consistently been unique in their attitudes on this measure, being the only country that tends to think the situation is getting better worldwide but worse nationally. Six in ten (61%) think coronavirus is easing off on a global level.

National and global outlooks

Finland, like Britain, also saw a decline in the number of people believing the situation at home is getting better (68%, from 76%), but saw no such decline on the global measure (44%, from 45%).

A similar local slump to Britain’s was also experienced in Saudi Arabia, where optimism fell from 77% to 65%. This was, however, coupled with a concurrent decline in belief that things are getting better worldwide: from 67% to 59%.

This stands in contrast to attitudes in the other Middle Eastern country in the study – the UAE – where people are rapidly becoming more optimistic about the severity of the pandemic. Belief that the situation is improving nationally rose from 59% to 73%, while the global figure went from 50% to 61%.

The USA also saw boosts on both figures, from 44% to 53% nationally and 46% to 54% globally.

The Indonesian rebound continues – having been at 41% in our first wave of the study, over the next two weeks the proportion of Indonesians saying the situation was improving halved to 19%, but has now since risen again to 40% in the following fortnight.

Coronavirus impact concerns

Returning confidence in Indonesia has not affected concerns about the impact of the virus, however, with Indonesians continuing to top the list on all six fears we ask about. Between 81% and 91% are very or fairly worried about their health and that of their friends and family, their job and finances and society in general. In addition, 72% are worried about the impact on their children’s education.

Across most of the six fears, Scandinavians continue to be least concerned. This is notably not the case when it comes to social impact – where they are mid-table – and friends and family, where China and Taiwan are less worried.

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